Home > Legal Opinions tagged Patents

  • Rihanna case shows developments to passing off

    Giles Parsons

    Rihanna has successfully sued Topshop in passing off for selling a t-shirt bearing her photograph. There is no freestanding image right in England, so the claim was brought in passing off. Selling clothes bearing someone’s image is not itself passing off; there must be a false representation that a product is endorsed. Other than the […]

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  • patent infringement threats!

    Mark Daniels

    If you’re unjustifiably threatened with patent infringement and cease activities as a result, you can in certain circumstances bring an action and recover damages. That’s precisely what happened here. Clariant Produkte (Deutschland) GbmH, a well known manufacturer of organic pigments wrote to Sudarshan Chemical Industries Ltd (another such manufacturer) about one of Sudarshan’s products, saying: […]

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  • Patent court says coffee capsules are not a ‘staple commercial pro...

    Giles Parsons

    Section 60(3) of the Patents Act says supplying staple commercial products is not contributory patent infringement. In Nestec v Dualit, Arnold J considered what is a staple commercial product. He cited Pavel v Sony, which said “in ordinary language, a staple commercial product is a commodity or raw material” and staple commercial products are “of […]

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  • Court of Appeal uphold invalidity of animal flea infestation patent

    Paula Dumbill

    The Court of Appeal has upheld the decision that a patent for an animal flea treatment was invalid on grounds of sufficiency due to its broad formulation. It was found that the patent, required a skilled team to formulate a combination of active ingredients to achieve the claimed result, however, it contained no examples to […]

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  • Consultation on patent infringement in pharmaceutical clinical and...

    Paula Dumbill

    The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is consulting on patent infringement in pharmaceutical clinical and field trials. A broader exception to patent infringement for activities related to obtaining regulatory approval of pharmaceuticals is being considered. The consultation is likely to lead to an amendment of the Patents Act 1977. The Act currently allows generic drugs to […]

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  • Time to start thinking inside the box

    Oliver Laing

    HMRC recently published a guidance note on the new Patent Box scheme. The Patent Box enables companies to apply a lower rate of Corporation Tax to profits earned after 1 April 2013 from their patented inventions and certain other innovations. A company can elect to benefit from the Patent Box if it is liable to […]

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  • Patent rights for social media

    Declan Cushley

    Yahoo!, in a recent meeting with Facebook, has demanded licensing fees for the use of 10-20 of their patents over technologies including advertising, newsfeed privacy controls, social networking and messaging and website personalisation. Following the recent patent wars in the smartphone and tablet sectors, should their demands not be met by Facebook, veteran Yahoo! would […]

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  • Another one bites the dust! Nokia successfully attacks another IPC...

    Mark Daniels

    In the latest chapter in the long running telecoms patent dispute between Nokia and IPCom, the English High Court has ruled that IPCom’s European patent (UK), which related to the handover of mobile phones between different base stations (eg when the mobile user is on the move), was invalid as originally granted but allowed IPCom […]

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  • Human Genome Sciences wins Supreme Court ruling

    Peter Ellis

    On 2 November 2011, the British Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favour of Human Genome Sciences Inc. (HGS) in its dispute with Eli Lilly & Co, over the validity of a patent for a protein and gene sequence, Neutrokine-α. Overturning the unanimous decisions of the Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeal, the […]

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  • The Patents County Court – living the dream!

    Mark Daniels

    The Patents County Court was revamped this time last year with its principle objective being to promote access to justice at proportionate cost for SMEs and other parties involved in lower value IP disputes. The damages cap which is to be applied to claims in the Patents County Court has now been formally extended to […]

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  • A bit of comfort for software innovators

    Oliver Laing

    On Wednesday the High Court handed down its decision in the Halliburton Energy Inc’s Patent. The decision was a further development on the law of inherently patentable subject matter. Halliburton’s four patent applications had previously been rejected on the grounds that they were excluded from patentability as methods for performing a mental act and as […]

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  • Google increases patent arsenal

    Ryan Harrison

    With its recent acquisition of 1,023 patents from IBM, Google now owns approximately 20,000 patents. Previously, Google has lagged behind its competitors in developing a substantial patent portfolio and, as a result, has been seen in some quarters as vulnerable to patent infringement litigation. However, following its acquisition of Motorola Mobility in August, and the […]

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  • Vince Cable announces support for intellectual property modernisation

    Alex Kynoch

    On 3 August, the Government announced its full support for the recommendations made in the Hargreaves Report on intellectual property and growth. The Government revealed its goal to “have measures in place by the end of this Parliament” and will prepare more detailed proposals for consultation. The report’s recommendations include: the creation of a digital […]

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  • Threatening reform?

    Giles Parsons

    In its eleventh programme of reform, the Law Commission has announced it will consider reforming the laws relating to groundless threats. Currently, groundless threats of trade mark, design or patent litigation can be causes of action themselves. Sabre rattling should obviously be discouraged, particularly as just the threat of infringement can be enough to make […]

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  • Telecoms patent portfolio auctioned for £2.8bn

    Paula Dumbill

    The heat looks set to intensify in the telecoms industry as it was announced last week that a consortium of six telecoms companies including Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Research In Motion, Ericsson, and EMC successfully bid against Google and Intel to acquire a portfolio of more than 6,000 patents and patent applications relating to wireless and […]

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  • Patent Box – a box of delights?

    Sara McNeill

    The Government has issued its second consultation on its ‘Patent Box’ scheme which aims to cut the tax rate on profits generated from patents held by UK businesses to 10%. Qualifying patents are patents granted by the UK Intellectual Property Office and the European Patent Office only. However the scheme will apply to worldwide income […]

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  • Common general knowledge – a truth universally acknowledged

    Peter Ellis

    Jane Austin’s famous phrase “a truth universally acknowledged” was adopted by Mr Justice Floyd recently to summarise an understanding of what amounts to common general knowledge and to distinguish that knowledge from something which is obvious. There was then an interesting discussion on the approach of the expert and the difference between common general knowledge […]

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  • The Blu-ray row: 1-0 to Sony, full time score to follow

    Alex Kynoch

    On 28 February electronics manufacturer LG successfully applied for an ex parte order that up to 300,000 Playstation 3 consoles be seized from Sony’s EU distribution centre, and that Dutch customs seize any further imports, effectively cutting off the entire EU supply chain. The order was granted as part of a dispute over Sony’s use […]

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  • Cheaper EU patent protection, but at a cost?

    Emma Tuck

    National validation and translation costs currently make the cost of obtaining a patent in Europe around ten times as expensive as obtaining a patent in the USA. In the absence of agreement on proposals for a single EU patent, and in a bid to make the application process cheaper, the European Commission this week presented […]

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  • Will the ‘Patent Box’ keep companies in the UK?

    Beth Dowson

    The Chancellor George Osborne has confirmed that, as part of plans to make Britain more business-friendly and tax-competitive, a new 10% rate of corporation tax will be introduced on profits from certain products developed in the UK. From 1 April 2013 this reduced rate of corporation tax will apply to profits from patents, but not […]

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