In utility model cancellation proceedings, if a proprietor defends its utility model only with certain sets of claims, the Federal Patent Court generally has no reason to subject the subject-matter of individual claims to separate examination. However, the situation is different if the proprietor submits for decision a set of claims with independent claims that…

Introduction The impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on intellectual property (IP) law undoubtedly ranks as one of the most-discussed topics of 2020 among legal academics and practitioners. Following initiatives at WIPO, the EPO and several national IPOs (including the UKIPO and the USPTO), EU institutions have now also become active in this area. On 20…

The EPO’s biennial fee increases come into force on 1 April 2020 and include a 20% hike of the appeal fee. At the same time, new appeal fee refund provisions are being introduced through an amendment to Rule 103 EPC. These are intended to encourage appellants to continuously review whether to continue or withdraw their…

The UK Supreme Court today handed down its decision in Actavis v ICOS. The decision was unanimous, with Lord Hodge giving the only judgment. The case concerns two principal questions. First, how the test for obviousness applies to a dosage patent; and secondly, whether the Court of Appeal was entitled to reverse the judgment of…

The European Patent Office ‘will consider possible next actions’ together with the EPO Member States after a high-profile decision of a Board of Appeal earlier this week, concerning the patentability of plants. In case T 1063/18, the BoA decided that EPC Rules which were introduced by the EPO Administrative Council in 2017 to exclude plants…

Plants which are produced according to essentially biological processes need to be held patentable, despite EPO Guidelines which were introduced in 2017 to exclude them from patentability. The EPO Board of Appeal came to this remarkable decision earlier today in case T 1063/18. By Frits Michiels and Bart van Wezenbeek Those who thought that the…

In its judgment of 25 July 2018 (Case C-121/17 Teva v. Gilead), the CJEU had its latest say on the interpretation of article 3 (a) of Regulation (EC) 469/2009 concerning the Supplemental Protection Certificates for medicinal products (the “SPC Regulation”). In particular, it concluded that article 3 (a): “[…] must be interpreted as meaning that…

T0969/14 is the latest in a long line of decisions which make it clear that the EPO Boards of appeal will not accept late filed requests which could have been filed in first instance proceedings, whether or not the submission of such requests might be perceived as a procedural abuse. One of the consequences of…

The European Patent Office published an advance preview today of its annual update to the Guidelines for Examination which will come into force on 1 November 2018. Here are the main changes and what they mean for users of the European patent system: 1. More definitive language Throughout the new version of the Guidelines, some…