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Following concerns that the strict patent infringement tests applied by the Courts in the UK are driving lucrative clinical trials overseas, the UK government has now concluded a review of the statute that would allow for a broader ‘Bolar’ exemption to enter UK law.
One of the most frequently-discussed concerns regarding the unified patent court agreement is the possibility of bifurcation*. This has, in turn, lead to concerns in some quarters that local divisions of the unified patent court could set themselves up to be patent proprietor friendly but send validity counterclaims back to the central division. In such scenarios, the argument goes, a patent owner could secure an injunction in the local division based on the issue of infringement that would have effect across the whole of the unitary patent area before validity has even been heard in the central division.
Regardless of the above “doomsday” scenario, however, it is noted that according to the UPC agreement the defendant will be able to raise validity as a counterclaim within an infringement action. It will then be up to the local division in question as to whether they hear both infringement and validity (I&V) or whether they kick the validity part of the action back to the central division (and thereby create a bifurcated case). [This IPcopywriter has assumed (probably naively) that local divisions will probably follow the practice of the country within which they are set up.]
However, on a review of the final text of the UPC agreement, we have come across a particular scenario, written explicitly into the agreement, in which the defendant is apparently not even able to raise validity as a counterclaim in an infringement action. We are referring to Article 47(5) UPC agreement and the scenario where an exclusive licensee brings an infringement action.
On 1 July 2013, Croatia will join the European Union with the result that, from that date, existing and new Community Trade Marks (CTMs), as well as unregistered and Registered Community Designs, will have their coverage expanded to that country.
This expansion of protection will occur automatically, without the need for owners of CTMs and Community Designs to take any action, nor pay any fees.
It has been several weeks since we’ve seen a good bout in the Apple vs Samsung patent war. Fortunately, this cavernous gap in our lives has been filled, at least for a little while, by Amazon’s escapades before the EPO’s Opposition Division this week.
The case is a long one (If you’ve a lot of time to spare, you can check out the EPO register entry here), so IPcopy is here to give you a whistle-stop tour.
The final text of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court has now been published by the Council of the European Union. The two regulations relating to the unitary patent have already been published. Links to all three documents are below and also on our unitary patent package page.
1) Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2012 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection – here.
2) Council Regulation (EU) No 1260/2012 of 17 December 2012 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection with regard to the applicable translation arrangements – here.
Mark Richardson 17 January 2013