Council Regulation 469/2009 (the “SPC Regulation”) governs the grant of supplementary protection certificates in the EU. Core to its interpretation are Articles 1, 3, 4 and 5. Most pertinently, Article 3 provides that an SPC shall be granted if, among other things and in the relevant member state, (a) the product is protected by a…

In a global patent battle between Ajinomoto and Global Biochem Technology (GBT), a Belgian front was opened on March 25, 2008 when Ajinomoto seized more than 4 million kilos of infringing L-Lysine (a compound feed additive) produced by GBT. After unsuccessful third party opposition proceedings by GBT and its European distributors, patent litigation on the…

The German Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) has recently made clear that every court has to take into account preceding decisions of the European Patent Office (EPO) and of courts of other contracting states to the European Patent Convention (EPC) if these decisions essentially concern the same questions. Although there is no principle of precedence in…

The German Federal Court of Justice decided that a method concerning the dynamic document generation of structured documents in a client-server-environment, which is implemented by software, was not excluded from patent protection as a program for data processing systems. A method is always of technical nature if it concerns the direct interaction of elements of…

According to Article 61.2 of the Spanish Patent Act “where a patent concerns a process for the manufacture of new products or substances, unless there is proof to the contrary, it shall be presumed that any product or substance with the same characteristics has been obtained by using the patented process“. Over the last few…

This matter concerns levocetirizine, which is an enantiomer of cetirizine. The Court held that, at the priority date, it would have been obvious to the skilled person to check whether levocetirizine (which had been individually disclosed before the priority date) had improved pharmacological characteristics compared to the racemic mixture (i.e. cetirizine). As a rule, resolving…

On 22 April 2010 the German Federal Court of Justice issued its Decision in a case on appeal from the German Patent Court. The later rejected on the ground of excluded subject matter a claim to a method for dynamic generation of documents. In essence the method carries into effect an interface that translates commands…

The Court of Appeal of Milan established a principle whereby named inventors must be called in revocation actions and, if they are not, proceedings may not reach the stage of decision. This principle, which may sound strange to practitioners of other jurisdictions, is based on Art. 122, paragraph 4, of the Italian IP Code, according…

The Enlarged Board of Appeal states in its Opinion G3/08, reason 7.2.1 (italics added): “The European Patent Organisation is an international, intergovernmental organisation, modelled on a modern state order and based on the separation of powers principle, which the sovereign contracting states have entrusted with the exercise of some of their national powers in the…

On 22 June 2010, the English Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in yet another case involving stents in Occlutech v. AGA Medical. The appeal was dismissed with the result that AGA’s patent was held not infringed by Occlutech. The decision itself is interesting for three reasons: First, and most importantly, the decision contains…