23.08.2012 · JUVE Awards 2012
VOSSIUS & PARTNER nominated for "Kanzlei des Jahres für IP"
22.05.2012 · PADIAS training course
Rainer Viktor and Dr. Thure Schubert teach IP students on European and German Patent Law at the PADIAS training course held in Seoul.
01.02.2012 · Vossius & Partner Company Spot
06.04.2011 · VOSSIUS & PARTNER receives MIP Award 2011
The publication Managing Intellectual Property has awarded VOSSIUS & PARTNER the title „Germany – patent prosecution IP Firm of the Year“ in tribute to the firm‘s innovative and professionally outstanding work. We would like to thank our clients for the trust they have placed in us.
04.04.2011 · Help for Japan
To provide quick and effective help for the people in Japan impacted by the natural disaster, we encourage our business partners to also support the following organizations in their work. (www.japanclub-munich.de/top/top.html#Gienkin; www.djjv.org/)
09.03.2011 · On March 8, 2011 the Court of Justice of the European Communities has rendered its opinion on envisaged agreement creating a unified patent litigation system (currently called ‘European and Community Patents Court’) and concluded that the envisaged ‘European and Community Patents Court’ is not compatible with the provisions of the EU Treaty and the FEU Treaty.
17.02.2011 · China: Wandel vom Technologienachfrager zum -anbieter
Auf dem Weg an die Spitze der stärksten Wirtschaftsnationen verfolgt China ambitionierte Ziele. Bis zum Jahr 2020 möchte die Volksrepublik als innovative Nation gelten, bis 2050 will sie führend im Technologie- und Wissenschaftsbereich sein. Die wirtschaftlichen, sozialen und ökologischen Probleme des Landes sollen auf diesem Wege durch Entwicklung und Einsatz möglichst originär chinesischer Innovationen gelöst werden. Um das zu erreichen, müsste sich China vom Technologienachfrager- stärker zu einem Technologieanbieter-Land entwickeln.
22.12.2010 · Difficulties in the prosecution of data thieves
The commotion over Wikileaks illustrates the susceptibility to data theft to German entrepreneurs as well. It is difficult to track down the perpetrators on the basis of the existing legal provisions. The law firm Vossius & Partner specialized in IP law recommends to prevent data abuse by a broad range of measures.
14.12.2010 · Enlarged Board of Appeal decides on the patentability of plant breeding methods at the EPO
On December 9, 2010, the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) of the European Patent Office (EPO) handed down its long-awaited decision in the broccoli (G 2/07) and tomato (G 1/08) cases.
10.12.2010 · Singapur ist Favorit auf E-Mobility-Spitzenposition
VOSSIUS & PARTNER veröffentlicht gemeinsam mit Wissenschaftlern der TU München und der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München die Ergebnisse der Studie „Singapur: Schlüsselfaktoren auf dem Weg zur globalen Spitzentechnologie-Nation“.
30.11.2010 · New Requirement of Filing Search Results (amended Rule 141 EPC and new Rule 70b EPC)
14.10.2010 · Strategischer Vergleich in Düsseldorfer Patentstreitverfahren eröffnet U.S. HIV-Markt für QIAGEN
QIAGEN und Abbott haben ihren Disput über ein Lizenzabkommen und eine Patentverletzung nicht nur beendet, sondern sind eine beiderseits vorteilhafte Kooperation für Molekular-diagnostische Tests auf dem U.S.-Markt eingegangen.
28.05.2010 · Recent decision by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) on patent protection in the field of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) (EPC), Judgment of April 15, 2010, Xa ZR 69/06 – EPC Art. 56 Sentence 1
When traditionally there has been a theoretical divide between two sectors of a specific field (here: data transmission in public telecommunication networks and data transmission via Internet and LAN technology), the person skilled in the art nevertheless may feel the need to take suggestions from both sectors into consideration for solving a technical problem if at the priority date there had already been applications and methods crossing the divide between these two sectors (here: VoIP) and if the technical problem arises in both sectors in a similar way.
28.05.2010 · Recent decision by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) on the patentability of a program for data processing equipment (German Patent Act (PatG)), Decision of April 22, 2010, Xa ZB 20/08 – German Patent Act Section 1 Subsection 1, Subsection 3 No. 3, Subsection 4
(a) A method relating to the direct cooperation of the elements of a data processing system (here: a server comprising a client for dynamically generating structured documents) is always of a technical nature wherein it is not relevant whether it is characterized by technical instructions in the configuration in which it is applied for a patent.
(b) Such a method is not excluded from patent protection as a program for data processing equipment if it solves a concrete technical problem with technical means. A solution with technical means is not only present if system components are modified or addressed in a novel way. It is rather sufficient that the execution of a data processing program utilized for the solution to the problem is determined by technical factors outside the data processing equipment or if the solution precisely consists in configuring a data processing program in such a way that it takes the technical factors of the data processing equipment into consideration.
28.05.2010 · Recent decision by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) on the filing of a patent translation within the prescribed period (EPC, Law on International Patent Treaties (IntPatÜbkG))
Judgment of March 18, 2010, Xa ZR 74/09 – EPC Arts. 65, 70; Law on International Patent Treaties (version of December 20, 1991) Art. II Section 3
If a translation of the European patent not published in the German language was filed by the patent proprietor within the prescribed period, Article II Section 3 Subsection 2 Law on International Patent Treaties is not applicable and the legal effects of the patent for the Federal Republic of Germany occur even if the translation comprises omissions. Such omissions are generally to be regarded as errors in the translation whose legal consequences are determined according to Art. II Section 3 Subsections 4 and 5 Law on International Patent Treaties.
28.05.2010 · Recent decision by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) on the question whether decisions of the EPO or courts of other EPC member states are binding to German courts (German Patent Act (PatG); German Constitution (GG))
Decision of April 15, 2010, XA ZR 10/09 – German Patent Act Section 93 Subsection 1, Section 100 Subsection 3 No. 3; German Constitution Art. 103 Para. 1
(a) The German Courts have to take into account decisions issued by the authorities of the European Patent Office or by courts of other member states of the European Patent Convention and relating to essentially the same question and where necessary have to deal with the reasons which led to a different result in the previous decision. This is also applicable as far as legal questions are concerned, for example, the question whether the prior art has rendered obvious the subject-matter of the industrial property right.
(b) Not every violation of this obligation violates the respective party's right to due process of law.
17.05.2010 · Federal Patent Court grants SPC for medicinal device
The Federal Patent Court (FPC) recently has granted a Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) for an implantable device containing an active ingredient as an integral part of the device, as the product is also subject to the same level of regulatory scrutiny as provided for in Directive 65/65/EEC (now replaced by 2001/83/EC). By Alexa von Uexküll
12.05.2010 · Patentability of Software - Enlarged Board of Appeal Decision G 3/08 decides: referral by the president of the EPO inadmissible
The Enlarged Board of Appeal have handed down their long awaited decision in relation to the patentability of software. The Board decided that the referral by the president of the EPO is inadmissible as there is no inconsistency in the case law of the Technical Boards of Appeal, contrary to the opinion of the EPO's president. Thus, the established case law and the current practice of the EPO in allowing software patents will not change.
01.05.2010 · Albania - New Member of the European Patent Organization
Albania's parliament has approved the country's accession to the European Patent Convention and Albania became a member of the European Patent Organisation today, 1 May. The other contracting states of the European Patent Organisation are all of the 27 EU member states plus Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and Turkey. "We welcome Albania and are particularly pleased to have another country from Southeast Europe join our ranks," said Alison Brimelow, President of the European Patent Office (EPO), the executive arm of the European Patent Organisation.
The EPO applies a centralised procedure to examine European patent applications for the Organisation's member states. Applicants can obtain patent protection in as many of the member and extension countries as they designate on the basis of a single application.
19.02.2010 · European Patent Office Enlarged Board of Appeal decision G02/08 paves the way for dosage regimens
The Enlarged Board of Appeal have handed down their long awaited decision in relation to the allowability of dosage regimens.Over the past decade there have been conflicting decisions as to whether a claim directed towards a known therapeutic agent for use in the treatment of an illness may be regarded patentable, if the only distinguishing feature is the specific dosage regimen.In the case at hand, the referring board questioned whether the limitation “for use in the treatment by oral administration once per day prior to sleep” was suitable to established novelty. The Enlarged Board of Appeal have now confirmed that a different mode of treatment such as a dosage regimen may be relied upon to establish patentability of a medical use claim,. provided the claim is worded in the “medicinal products format” as provided by the new Art. 54(5) of the EPC 2000. Thus, the referred questions were answered as follows:
“1. Where it is already known to use a medicament to treat an illness, Article 54(5) EPC does not exclude that this medicament be patented for use in a different treatment by therapy of the same illness.
2. Such patenting is also not excluded where a dosage regime is the only feature claimed which is not comprised in the state-of-the-art.
3.Where the subject matter of the claim is rendered novel only by a new therapeutic use of a medicament, such claim may no longer have the format of a so called the “Swiss-type” claim as instituted by decision G5/83.”
18.11.2009 - Federal Court of Justice (BGH) refers stem cell patent issue to the European Court of Justice
In the appeal before the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) regarding the revocation of a biotechnological patent, which relates to the isolation of neuronal precursor cells and their use in the therapy of neurological diseases, Civil Senate Xa has stayed the appeal in order to bring the matter before the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The referral concerns the interpretation of § 2 of the German Patent Act, in particular, the Act’s exclusion of the use of human embryos for commercial and industrial purposes from patentability which may be disputable in the light of the identically worded Article 6 of Directive 98/44/EC on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions. The ECJ will have to settle the question of how to interpret the term “human embryos” and whether, within the meaning of the law, a blastocyst is also considered an embryo. Cf. Decision Xa ZR 58/07 of the Federal Court of Justice and Press Release No. 231/2009 dated 13 November 2009.
13.11.2009 · BGH ruft den Europäischen Gerichtshof zu Stammzellpatenten an
In der Revisionsverhandlung vor dem BGH zum Widerruf eines biotechnologischen Patents, welches die Isolierung von neuronalen Vorläuferzellen und deren Verwendung in der Therapie neurologischer Erkrankungen betrifft, hat der Xa Zivilsenat das Berufungsverfahren ausgesetzt und wird den Gerichtshof des Europäischen Gemeinschaft (EuGH) anrufen. Fraglich ist die Auslegung des §2 Patentgesetz (insbesondere der Patentierungsausschluss der Verwendung von menschlichen Embryonen zu kommerziellen und industriellen Zwecken) im Lichte des gleichlautenden Art. 6 der Biotechnologierichtlinie 98/44/EG. Hier wird zu entscheiden sein, wie der Begriff „menschliche Embryonen“ auszulegen ist und ob eine Blastocyste ebenfalls ein Embryo im Sinne des Gesetzes ist. Siehe Beschluss des BGH Xa ZR 58/07 und Pressemitteilung Nr. 231/2009 vom 13.11.2009.
21.10.2009 · NEW DEADLINE FOR FILING DIVISIONAL APPLICATIONS (RULE 36(1) AND (2) EPC)
Effective April 1, 2010, the EPO distinguishes between so-called voluntary divisional applications which are filed on the applicant's own initiative and so-called mandatory divisional applications which are filed in response to a non-unity objection.
16.09.2009 · Significant amendments of the German Patent Act, Trademark Act and Employees’ Inventions Act will enter into effect as of October 1, 2009
29.07.2009 · Fee reduction for International Applications
The World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO, has announced that revised fees for international trade mark applications designating the European Community under the Madrid Protocol will take effect on 12 August. The fee changes follow the introduction of a 40% reduction in Community trade mark fees on 1 May. WIPO has announced that the new fee for an International Application designating the EC (three classes), will be 1,311 Swiss Francs (currently 2,229 Swiss Francs).
03.07.2009 · Patent of inventors of the year 2006 revoked – Vossius & Partner wins Opposition against the so-called “Density Patent”
Vossius & Partner achieved revocation of European Patent 0619321 of Affymax. It was particularly directed to Microarrays for analysis of polypeptide or amino acid sequences. The claimed invention covers so-called chips where upon vast amounts of DNA or peptide sequences can be synthesized on pre-defined locations at high density. The patent was thus also referred to as the „Density Patent“. Such devices allow high-throughput screening of protein or nucleic acid specimens for binding activities. The invention is primarily used for expression profiling or to detect genetically determined disease. In 2006 the inventors had been awarded Inventor’s of the Year by the European Patent Office. The Patent has now been revoked in its entirety. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org (reference D2356 EP/OPP S5).
02.06.2009 · EP-B-1054722 (SCRT- or Bluetec-Patent) revoked! Vossius & Partner successful at the EPO’s technical Board of Appeal.
Vossius & Partner achieved revocation of European Patent 1054722. It was directed to a diesel exhaust purification system and method. The Patent is considered a key patent for technologies fulfilling the most recent and strict European and US exhaust gas emission standards. The Patent has now been revoked in its entirety. For more information please contact email@example.com (reference G5430 EP/OPP S5).
05.05.2009 · New impulses concerning the equivalence approach – OLG Düsseldorf [Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court], "Timeshifting"
In its "Timeshifting" decision, the OLG Düsseldorf followed the example of an earlier decision of the BGH [Federal Court of Justice] (BGH judgment dated February 18, 1975, GRUR [official journal of the association for the protection of industrial property and copyright] 1975, 425 – "Metronidazole") and regarded equivalent patent infringement as also coming into consideration when the replacement means as such was still unknown at the priority date. While for answering the question of equivalent patent infringement the BGH considered it decisive whether the replacement means was producible for the person skilled in the art at the priority time, it is sufficient according to the decision of the OLG that the replacement means was provided by the further advance of the technical progress and that the modification "just fell into the lap" of the person skilled in the art on account of this general technical progress so that its use having objectively the same effect was recognizable to the person skilled in the art without further creative consideration. Under such circumstances, the fact that the equivalence requirements of obviousness on the basis of the technical teaching of the claim are fulfilled on the assumption that the replacement means (which actually became available only later) had already been known to the person skilled in the art at the priority date is sufficient for the incorporation of the equivalents in the scope of protection. However, there is no general postponement of the evaluation time of equivalent patent infringement from the priority date to the infringement date. The judgment of January 14, 2009 was published in InstGE [decisions of the regional and higher regional courts on intellectual property right] 10, 198. Please do not hesitate to contact us if any questions arise or further information is required.
09.04.2009 · IMPORTANT PROCEDURAL CHANGES AT THE EPO
At the meeting of the Administrative Council of the EPO on March 25, 2009 several changes were decided on. The most important changes which will come into force on April 1, 2010 relate to the right to file divisional applications and the consideration of the Written Opinions and International Preliminary Reports on Patentability in the EP proceedings.
08.04.2009 · Major Fee Reductions for Community Trademarks
The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) recently announced a consider¬able fee reduction for Community trademarks as of May 1, 2009. This move will make the Community trademark, which enjoys protection in all 27 Member States of the EU, even more attractive than previously. Following this announcement, Vossius & Partner have decided to likewise considerably reduce their attorney fees for Community trademarks with immediate effect. The total fees (Official and attorney fees) for a Community trademark filed through Vossius & Partner will thus be reduced by nearly 40%. For further information, please contact our Trademark and Design Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
17.02.2009 · New EPO Fees - effective from April 1, 2009
Effective from April 1, 2009 the EPO will change the structure of the claims fee, the excess page fee and the designation fee
16.12.2008 · BGH judgement "Olanzapine"
Recently, the grounds of the judgment rendered by the Federal Supreme Court (BGH) in the nullity proceedings “Olanzapine” (file no. X ZR 89/07, to be accessed via www.bundesgerichtshof.de) have been presented. The judgment deals with the definition of novelty pursuant to Section 3 Patent Act and, thus, is of high importance not only to inventions in the field of chemistry, but to patent law in its entirety.
14.07.2008 · Implementation of EU-Enforcement Directive and London Protocol in Germany
The EU-Enforcement Directive 2004/48/EG and the elimination of the translation requirement by the London Protocol have both been implemented into German law by the "Gesetz zur Verbesserung der Durchsetzung von Rechten des geistigen Eigentums" ("Law on the enhanced enforcement of intellectual property rights"), promulgated on July 11, 2008. With promulgation of the law, the translation requirement for European Patents has been abolished retroactively as of May 1, 2008. European Patents for which the mention of the grant of patent was published on or after May 1, 2008, do not have to be translated into the German language anymore. The provisions implementing the EU-Enforcement Directive that was meant to harmonize essential measures, procedures and remedies concerning the infringement of intellectual property rights, will not enter into force until September 1, 2008. This is particularly true for the amendments of the German patent, trademark and design acts.
12.06.2008 · Three stripes vs. Two stripes - The recent adidas judgment of the ECJ
With its decision re: adidas/Marca Mode et al. of April 10, 2008 in Case C-102/07, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has again brought the interpretation of trademark law in Europe significantly forward in a number of important aspects. In several cases of trademark conflicts with adidas, Marca Mode and other companies had claimed that stripe motifs other than that registered for adidas must remain available for all economic operators, and that stripe motifs on garments were moreover purely decorative in nature. The ECJ held that the availability criterion was not a relevant factor neither when assessing a likelihood of confusion nor within the context of the enhanced protection of trademarks with a reputation. Furthermore, the competitors of adidas could not rely on the mere decorative character of stripe motifs within the context of Article 6 (1) (b) of the Harmonization Directive (Limitations of the effects of a trademark), because “decorative nature” was not a descriptive indication as provided in Article 6 (1) (b). As a result, other companies cannot rely vis-à-vis adidas on the requirement of free availability or on the purely decorative nature of stripe signs, provided that a likelihood of confusion or a conflict with a trademark with a reputation exists.
18.02.2008 · OHIM: Disclosure in China is Detrimental to Novelty of European Design
Pursuant to Article 4 CDR a design can only be protected as a community design to the extent that it is new and has individual character. A design shall not be considered new if an identical design has been made available to the public (disclosed) before. A recent decision of the Third Board of Appeal of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) confirms the general view that also disclosure outside the European Union, for example in China, can be detrimental to novelty of an European design. OHIM argues that in such a case it is not necessary that the design in question has actually been placed on the market in Europe or elsewhere, but that it can be sufficient if the design has e.g. been exhibited at an important trade fair in China or has been promoted in the Chinese specialized press. The only requirement is that the design in question could have become known to the specialized trade circles within the European Community in the normal course of business. In view of the increased volume of trade between Europe and China, the Board of Appeal assumed in the present case that EU designers, manufacturers, importers and distributors of kitchen appliances are well aware of kitchen products disclosed in China. Although the decision only refers to the design of kitchen appliances, it can be assumed that this legal practice will be extended to other product groups. The Chinese market in particular is an important place of production for many technical devices and thus is thoroughly observed by the specialized circles operating within the European Union. For this reason it is increasingly important especially for international companies to protect their designs at an early stage and to keep good record of their first publication in order to guarantee that a subsequent application is in any case filed within the 12-months grace period.
11.02.2008 · PCR patent EP-B1 0 639 228 revoked by EPO
At 6.30 pm on 16 January 2008, after the oral proceedings in the Opposition Proceedings, the European Patent Office revoked patent EP-B1 0 639 228 with the title “DNA Typing with short tandem repeat polymorphisms and identification of polymorphic short tandem repeats”, which was filed by the Baylor College of Medicine in 1992 and is exclusively licensed to Promega USA. The revoked EP patent was to protect a PCR-based profiling assay during which so-called short tandem repeats (STR) are amplified. The STRs according to the invention were repetitive DNA sequences with the repeat unit consisting of four nucleotides. These nucleotides are located in specific loci in the genome of every human being. Every human being has two copies of one locus. When examining several loci, the common origin of two samples of an individual can be tested with an extremely high statistical significance. The test is used by the FBI and the German Federal Criminal Police Office, amongst others, for the so-called genetic finger printing. A further area of use is paternity diagnostics. In 2006, opposition was filed against the patent EP-B1 0 639 228 based on lack of novelty and lack of inventive step. With intermediate notice before the oral proceedings, the Opposition Division stated that the granted patent was not considered new. The exclusive licensee, Promega, USA, filed more than six auxiliary requests. In the written proceedings and in the oral proceedings, the patent attorneys Hans-Rainer Jaenichen and Christian Kilger succeeded in convincing the Opposition Division that none of the requests is patentable. Thus, the patent has been revoked in its entirety.
30.01.2008 · London Agreement to enter into force on 1 May
France has deposited the instrument of ratification with the German Ministry of Justice on January 29, 2008. The London Agreement will thus enter into force on May 1, 2008. For more information please visit the EPO homepage (www.epo.org) or feel free to contact us (email@example.com).
03.01.2008 · European Community Accedes to the Hague Agreement for the International Registration of Industrial Designs - US-Senate approves Ratification of the Hague Agreement
On January 1, 2008, the accession by the European Community to the Hague International Design System became effective. The European Community had submitted its instrument of accession to WIPO on September 24, 2007. Applicants and designers from the European Union will now be able to obtain design protection by one single application not only for the European Union, but for all the member states of the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement, in a simple, effective and economic way. Meanwhile also the accession of the U.S.A. is drawing nearer: On December 7, 2007 the US Senate approved the ratification of the Hague Agreement so that President Bush is expected to sign the instrument of ratification in the near future.
29.11.2007 · European Court of Justice on likelihood of confusion between Community trademarks
In its decision in Case C-234/06 P – Il Ponte Finanziaria (Bainbridge) of September 13, 2007, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) clarified some important questions concerning direct as well as indirect likelihood of confusion (trademark series) between trademarks. Where direct likelihood of confusion is concerned, the Court held that the assessment of any aural similarity was but one of the relevant factors for the purpose of global assessment. If, when making a purchase, the relevant public usually perceived visually the mark designating the goods (in this case: clothing and leather articles) the degree of aural similarity between the marks could be of less importance. Where mere phonetic similarity between two signs was established there was not necessarily a likelihood of confusion (para. 35 and 36). As regards an indirect likelihood of confusion, the ECJ stated that the opponent could successfully claim a series or family of marks only if a sufficient number of trademarks capable of constituting a family or a series was actually in use, and that the competent court was entitled to require the necessary proof (para. 64 and 65). Both findings should lead to an adjustment of the German case-law.
11.10.2007 · OHIM: Change of Practice in Opposition Proceedings
OHIM recently announced a number of changes of Office practice, aimed at simplifying and accelerating the opposition proceedings. Admissibility check: (1) In future, oppositions will be considered admissible if the admissibility criteria are complied with at least for one of the earlier rights on which the opposition is based. (2) In order to indicate the goods and services of the earlier rights on which the opposition is based, it will be sufficient for admissibility purposes to state the relevant class number(s). By these amendments, the Office intends to process oppositions more quickly in the early stages of the proceedings. Adversarial proceedings: (1) In case an opposition or CTM application is withdrawn during the adversarial part of the opposition proceedings, OHIM will in future issue the cost decision together with the confirmation of withdrawal, to avoid the necessity of awaiting a separate cost decision. (2) Joint requests for suspension of the opposition proceedings during negotiations will be granted on similar lines as joint applications to extend the cooling off period, i.e. the second request for suspension will be granted for the period of one year, with the possibility of opting out. The changes entered into force on September 17, 2007.
25.09.2007 · German FSC rejects trademark infringement claims based on Ferrero’s trademark “Kinder” against competitors Haribo (“Kinder Kram”) and Zott (“Kinderzeit”)
In two landmark and final decisions of September 20, 2007, the German Federal Supreme Court (FSC) rejected infringement claims the chocolate manufacturer Ferrero had brought, based on several “Kinder” trademarks which were registered together with additional graphical elements and/or in colour, against its competitors Haribo (for use of the trademark “Kinder Kram”) and Zott (for use of the sign “Kinderzeit”). In both cases the reason for refusing Ferrero’s claims was the same: The word element “Kinder” (“kids”) was not per se registrable for chocolate, since it merely designated the customers, namely kids. When taking into consideration the graphical elements of the plaintiff’s marks, there was no similarity between those trademarks and the competitor’s marks. It seems that Ferrero was not able to successfully claim that the “Kinder” trademarks are well-known in Germany. The two decisions, which have not yet been published in full, could have considerable impact on pending or future cases with a similar background. In particular it is to be expected that registrability aspects will receive more emphasis in future in trademark opposition and infringement cases. Case numbers of the FSC: I ZR 6/05 and I ZR 94/04. Further information can be found under www.bundesgerichtshof.de, Pressemitteilung (press release) No. 132/2007.
09.08.2007 · „PCR-Thermocycler High Pressure Lid“ Patent owned by Applera Corporation USA revoked
On August 7, 2007 the Technical Board of Appeal 3.3.05 of the European Patent Office revoked the patent EP 1 013 342 B1 in full for lack of novelty in opposition-appeal proceedings (T 0868/06) in which the Attorneys Christian Kilger and Dieter Heunemann from the Berlin Office of Vossius & Partner represented three clients which had previously been sued under this patent for patent infringement before the Düsseldorf District Court. These clients intervened during the appeal which had been launched be another party. In the mid nineties, motorized PCR-machines were first developed in order to cope with the necessity of automating processes such as the polymerase chain reaction and sequencing, techniques which were used for determining the human genome sequence. Thereafter, these automated machines were indispensable for all high throughput applications. The patent claimed a thermocycler apparatus for chemical and/or biological reactions with a cover for closing a base body, a locking mechanism and an electrically activatable positioner, arranged so that the cover may be urged against reaction vessels. Numerous companies in Germany and Europe had been sued for patent infringement. The revocation of the European patent allows the companies concerned to offer automated high pressure lids for PCR devices again and to revive the competition in this market. It is more than likely that Applera Corporation USA will now withdraw all pending patent infringement suits based on this patent.
03.07.2007 · Enlarged Board of Appeal decides on case G 1/06
On June 28, 2007, the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the EPO finally decided on the various questions referred to it with respect to the filing and content of Divisional applications. In brief, the established practice of the EPO is confirmed and the recent deviating decisions of various Technical Boards of Appeal are disapproved.
20.06.2007 · Australia: The recent Australian High Court decision on inventive step; comments of Bill Bennett, Pizzeys Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys, Australia
The Australian High Court has given its first detailed consideration to the issue of inventive step under the "new" Patents Act 1990. In what is arguably the most important patent case to come out of Australia for many years, the High Court adopted a firmly pro-patent position which will shape Australian patent law for many years to come. A detailed discussion of the case provided by our colleague Bill Bennett of Pizzeys, Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys, Australia, is attached in pdf format.
18.06.2007 · Norway to join EPO
The Norwegian parliament decided to accede to the European Patent Convention as of January 1, 2008.
01.06.2007 · EU: Reduction of OHIM fees announced
On May 21, 2007, the EU Council chaired by German Federal Minister of Justice Brigitte Zypries adopted a decision to reduce the fees of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) (OHIM) as soon as possible. Considering the ten-year success story of the Community trademark system far exceeding expectations and leading to a substantial revenue surplus, the European Commission was called upon to immediately propose a reduction of the fees charged by OHIM, in particular of the fees for the application, registration and renewal of Community trademarks. News on further progress in this matter will be placed at this site when available.
15.03.2007 · Federal Supreme Court – Criteria for the assessment of the overall impression of a three-dimensional (3-D) trademark – The golden chocolate Easter bunny
In 2000 Lindt, the well-known Swiss manufacturer of high-quality chocolate products, registered the form of a sitting chocolate Easter bunny as a 3-D Community trademark. The bunny was wrapped in golden foil with the imprint “Lindt GOLDHASE” and wearing a red collar with a ribbon and a little golden bell.
15.02.2007 · Malta accedes to the European Patent Convention on March 1, 2007
On 1 December 2006, the Government of the Republic of Malta (MT) deposited its instrument of accession to the European Patent Convention (EPC) and to the Act revising the EPC of 29 November 2000 (Revision Act).
15.02.2007 · Accession to the PCT by Malta on March 1, 2007
On 1 December 2006, Malta deposited its instrument of accession to the PCT which will enter into force for Malta on 1 March 2007.
08.09.2006 · "Coffee-Pouch" Patent owned by Sara Lee/DE N.V revoked
On August 30, 2006, the Technical Board of Appeal 3.2.04 of the EPO revoked the Patent EP 0 904 717 in full for lack of inventive step in opposition-appeal proceedings (T 0452/05) in which Vossius & Partner represented one of the Opponents. Ever since the launch of the well known "Senseo"-machine of Philips and Sara Lee on the market in 2002, millions of this machine have been sold. The machine uses "coffee pouches", that is to say coffee-filled pads in pre-portioned amounts and individually packaged in filter paper. Sara Lee tried to monopolize this "coffee pouch" market by its European Patent EP 0 904 717. The Patent claimed an "assembly" comprising a filter container and a matching "coffee pouch". In previous proceedings, the Regional Court of Düsseldorf had completely prohibited numerous coffee roasting companies from marketing any kind of these allegedly matching "coffee pouches", finding for contributory patent infringement. Vossius & Partner succeeded in subsequent appeal and preliminary injunction proceedings in having this total prohibition lifted for a renowned well-established company to the effect that the "coffee pouches" could be sold for alternative uses (for instance for applications in machines with sieves). The revocation of the European Patent allows the companies concerned to offer their coffee pouches again and to revive the competition on this market. Sara Lee has now also withdrawn its patent infringement suit.
13.07.2006 · ECJ rules out international jurisdiction in patent infringement proceedings involving a number of companies
The ECJ decided that Art. 6 (1) Council Regulation (EC) No. 44/2001 does not apply in European patent infringement proceedings.
13.07.2006 · European Court of Justice rules out cross-border injunctions
The ECJ decision will bring an end to cross border patent infringement proceedings because as soon as the invalidity of the patent is invoked within an infringement case the infringement court would have to declare of its own motion not to have jurisdiction with regard to infringement/validity of a foreign patent.
The Right of Publicity - Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research Ltd. This article was first published in Getting the Deal Through – Right of Publicity 2013 (published in October, 2012; contributing editor: Jonathan D Reichman, of Kenyon & Kenyon LLP). For further information please visit www.GettingTheDealThrough.com (Dr. Marcus von Welser)
"Unitary Patent System", Managing Intellectual Property Asia, February 2013 (Dr. Johann Pitz)
The Community Trademark - Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research Ltd. This article was first published in Getting the Deal Through – Trademarks 2013, (published in September, 2012; contributing editors: Stuart J Sinder and Michelle Mancino Marsh of Kenyon & Kenyon LLP). For further information please visit www.GettingTheDealThrough.com (Mathias Kleespies and Simone Schaefer)
European Patent Convention - Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research Ltd. This article was first published in Getting the Deal Through – Patents 2012, (published in April, 2012; contributing editor: Stuart J Sinder of Kenyon & Kenyon LLP). For further information please visit www.GettingTheDealThrough.com (Elard Schenck zu Schweinsberg)
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Die mittelbare Patentverletzung - eine rechtsvergleichende Betrachtung
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