The Proposal for a New Regulation on Customs Action of May 2011 is presently under discussion in a Council Working Group. Among other topics, in particular the new right to be heard, the limitation of simplified procedures to counterfeit and pírated goods, the new procedure for the destruction of goods in small consignments, the incorporation of topography rights into the Regulation, the handling of goods in transit and the structure of the new Regulation will probably need further clarification.The end of discussions is presently not to foresee.

On August 30, 2011 the Enlarged Board of Appeal rendered its decision on the admissibility of a disclaimer whose subject-matter is disclosed as an embodiment of the invention in the application as filed. It can be expected that the EPO will change its current restrictive practice in view of this decision, again allowing disclaimers for disclosed subject-matter under certain conditions. However, the Enlarged Board of Appeal did not endorse the view that disclaiming disclosed subject-matter is always allowable. Hence, until further Board of Appeal decisions will bring more clarity as to the specific situations in which such disclaimers are allowable, there will remain a degree of uncertainty.

In view of the principles outlined in the recent decision T 777/08 it has to be expected that in the future the inventiveness of a novel polymorph form of a pharmaceutically active compound will be acknowledged only if the novel polymorph form is associated with an unexpected pharmaceutical activity, while improved physical and/or physicochemical properties would not be sufficient. Also, an inventive step might be acknowledged if an inventive activity is required to actually manufacture the polymorph.

In this blog, we reported earlier about a new nullity action initiated in 2010 against the German supplementary protection certificate (SPC) for enantiomeric escitalopram and the judgment of the German Federal Patent Court (Bundespatentgericht – BPatG) in favor of the validity of the SPC. Meanwhile, the BPatG issued the written grounds for its decision.

The Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) in Germany has held in its recent “Dentalgerätesatz” decision that claim 1 of EP 892 625 is novel since it claimed a new functional adaptation of otherwise known elements to serve a certain purpose. In doing so, the FCJ reversed the first-instance decision of the Federal Patent Court.

During EPO opposition proceedings, patentees have historically been able to avoid discussing clarity by combining granted claims rather than using the description as basis for amendments. The landmark cases T 227/88 and especially T 367/96 have been relied on to support this position. However, some technical boards of appeal are now starting to engage in…

After the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) had confirmed the validity of the German SPC for the enantiomeric escitalopram (and its underlying patent) in 2009, the Federal Patent Court (Bundespatentgericht) now confirmed in further nullity proceedings the validity of the SPC.

By final judgment of November 18, 2010 (Xa ZR 149/07, published in Mitt. 2011, 66 (in German only)), the German Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) decided on two interesting issues in nullity appeal proceedings regarding the German patent DE 101 41 650 pertaining to a patch containing the opioid fentanyl, a strong analgesic drug. Firstly,…

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has now issued its long awaited Opinion 1/09 on the draft agreement concerning the creation of a unified patent litigation system (UPLS). As is well known, this draft agreement drew on many provisions introduced for the first time by the European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA) and…