UPC shows its teeth in first rulings
Since opening its doors on 1 June 2023, the European Patent Court (UPC) has made significant progress. With more than 50 active cases covering a range of patent disputes, the UPC is quickly establishing itself as a key player in European patent law.
Recent judgments demonstrate the court's ability to respond quickly. For example, during the EUROBIKE 2023 fair, a preliminary injunction was issued within hours, resulting in the seizure of disputed e-bikes at the fair that same day. Another quick scenario unfolded at the ITMA 2023 fair, where evidence against alleged patent infringers was detained based on a quickly granted request at the UPC. In September, the new court banned the sale of a molecular imaging instrument in 17 countries, demonstrating its supranational power.
These initial decisions, while noteworthy, are just the beginning for the UPC. As the court gains traction, its influence in shaping European patent law will only increase.
What will the UPC mean for your business? Contact your patent attorney at V.O. for advice.
Beware of silent amendments to Dutch Patent Act
Suppose you are working on a project where you face an exception to patent protection. These could include restrictions such as the Bolar exemption, the experimental use exemption, or exemptions relating to use on ships or aircraft. Upon reviewing the legal text last July, you might have been in for a surprise.
The Dutch Patent Act (ROW) has been changed rather dramatically, and without broad announcement to the user public. Indeed, in 2019, the government decided to amend the ROW to enable unitary patent protection, and to bring the ROW in line with the provisions on unitary patent protection through the UPC. However, it was not known at that time when the UPC would be in place. Therefore, the agreed amendments to the ROW would come into effect by Royal Decree at a date to be determined later.
By Royal Decree of 3 April 2023, it was announced that the proposed amendments to the ROW would come into effect on 1 June 2023. As of that date, the provisions on, among other things, the scope of protection, direct and indirect infringement and exceptions to patent protection have been aligned with the provisions in the Agreement on Unitary Patent Protection. This reduces the risk of divergent decisions.
Consult your V.O. patent attorney for a detailed explanation of the changes, and what they mean in your situation.
V.O. provides IP modules at TH Ingolstadt
Innovation is at the heart of any progressive academic institution, and the Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt is no exception. This ambitious university in Bavaria is known for its pioneering research in various fields. IP education enables students and faculty to understand the value of their inventive ideas. By learning about patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, people are better able to protect their intellectual creations. That is why the institution has established an IP program. Attorney-at-law Claudia Meindel, based at V.O.'s Munich office, is actively contributing to that program with two digital IP modules. These focus respectively on trademarks/models and know-how and copyright protection.
The IP program is intended for SMEs and start-ups active in areas such as project development and planning, software development and innovation marketing, as well as for university employees, researchers and innovation practitioners. The modules, in German, can be accessed at https://www.thi.de/weiterbildung/training/kursangebot-training/.
Before 2023, they will be free of charge.
Handbook on antibody patenting appears in second edition
Of the book Antibody Patenting: A Practitioner's Guide to Drafting, Prosecution and Enforcement, the second edition recently saw the light of day. Nearly fifty international experts have contributed to it. One of the co-authors is Martin Klok, partner at V.O, who contributed the chapter on Dutch practice.
Briefly, antibodies are specific proteins that are an important part of our immune system. When harmful substances - antigens - are in our bodies, they are recognized by antibodies, which then attach themselves to those harmful substances to render them harmless. The discovery of antibodies has led to revolutionary breakthroughs in medicine and biotechnology, particularly in the development of diagnostic and treatment methods and drugs. Its importance in the development of immunotherapies in the treatment of cancer is enormous.
Antibody Patenting: A Practitioner's Guide to Drafting, Prosecution and Enforcement, Jürgen Meier and Oswin Riddersbuch (ed.), ISBN: 9789403510736. It is published by Wolters Kluwer as part of AIPPI's Law Series.