Articles and monographs : 185 Documents


European Patent Office (EPO) Update

Document No: PUB 20E/12 Posted: 08 March 2013

Users welcomed a slowing of the pace of amendment of the European Patent Convention (EPC) itself, as the EPO digests the ramifications of previous changes. This did not mean that the EPO rested on its laurels in 2012 and in other areas it was active in ways that users welcome, such as the innovations in the area of machine translations.

EU Patent Reform

Document No: PUB 20F/12 Posted: 08 March 2013

In 2012, the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC) dossier has been among the Federation’s highest priorities, with major developments notwithstanding the breakdown of negotiations at the Competitiveness Council meeting in Warsaw in December 2011 over the location of the Central Division of the UPC.

IP Federation biographies

Document No: PUB 20G/12 Posted: 08 March 2013

Dr Bobby Mukherjee is a qualified UK and European Patent Attorney with over 16 years’ experience of IP work gained in private practice and at BAE Systems plc. He is currently the Chief Counsel – IP & Technology Law, BAE Systems. He has represented his current employer on the Patents Committee and Council of the IP Federation for some of those years.

Patent Box – The Basics

Document No: PUB 20I/12 Posted: 08 March 2013

If you pay UK corporation tax and develop your own products but still haven’t taken a look at the Patent Box, you really should. From April 2013, companies which satisfy specific criteria will be able to claim an additional deduction against their taxable profits, effectively taking the tax rate applied to a proportion of their profits down to 10%. There will be some companies for whom the new Patent Box will make no difference at all but, equally, there will be some for whom it will offer a relatively easy way of reducing their tax burden.

Patent Marking

Document No: PUB 20J/12 Posted: 08 March 2013

Patent marking is an often neglected aspect of patent law, but in recent years has come into the spotlight. Most countries, including the UK, have a provision that damages from infringement can be awarded where an infringer has copied a product only where said infringer is put on notice of the existence of a patent right by virtue of the patent number being applied to (i.e. ‘marked’ on) the product (cf Section 62 (1) of the UK Patents Act).

Update on “plain” (more accurately, “standardised”) packaging

Document No: PUB 20K/12 Posted: 08 March 2013

This trade mark issue has received much attention in the Press, although it is not one on which the Federation has taken a position.

The damage to health caused by smoking is of concern to governments. It is obviously quite impractical for most governments to ban tobacco products (a point of legal consequence discussed below). However, governments do interfere with the way tobacco products are marketed to the general public in the hope of reducing consumption. In England, supermarkets no longer display the packets of tobacco products openly; they are behind a screen, so that customers have to know what to ask for. And in many countries, the packets bear health warnings, some including shocking medical pictures.

Patent Enforcement – Portugal enacts law mandating arbitration for pharmaceutical patent disputes

Document No: PUB 20L/12 Posted: 08 March 2013

In December 2011 the Portuguese government enacted Decree Law 62/2011 which for the first time moved certain IP disputes, in particular patent disputes, in the pharmaceutical sector away from the Jurisdiction of the court and mandated that they are handled exclusively through arbitration. The reasoning underlying this controversial and unprecedented change is clearly political but has not been unambiguously expressed. It has been implied that it is linked to austerity measures in Portugal and indeed a Memorandum of Understanding on Specific Economic Policy Conditionality was concluded between Portugal and the Troika (European Commission, IMF and ECB) in May 2011. However, whilst the Memorandum of Understanding contained a section on the Portuguese Judicial system and mentioned arbitration within the context of alternative dispute resolution as a way to facilitate resolution of backlog cases and out of court settlement, there was no mention of its mandatory use, or any contemplation of its use in IP law, and certainly not in a specific sector. The only reference to IP in the Memorandum of Understanding was to make a speciality court on IP fully operational by Q1 2012. What is plain, however, is that the specific IP disputes selected by the Law to be handled in arbitration are the critical innovator vs generics disputes that effectively govern when a generic copycat medicine can legally be commercialised in Portugal.

Reform of the UK Designs Legal Framework

Document No: PUB 20M/12 Posted: 08 March 2013
In 2010–2011, there were three official consultations on UK design law (Trends and Events, 2010, at pages 12–13; Trends and Events, 2011, at pages 11–12 and 12–13). In July 2012, the IPO published Consultation on the Reform of the UK Designs Legal Framework, this time with specific proposals for change. Further comment was invited. Legislation is likely in the 2013–2014 Parliamentary session.

Role of Government in Protecting and promoting Intellectual Property

Document No: PUB 20N/12 Posted: 08 March 2013

The All-Party Intellectual Property Group announced on 14 March 2012 that it was to conduct an inquiry into the role of Government in protecting and promoting intellectual property. The Group decided to look at this issue because responsibility for development and enforcement of IP policy sits across many Government departments and agencies. There have been numerous reviews into IP policy in the last ten years but the decision-making framework within which policy is developed and agreed had not been sufficiently examined.

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