WP IP

News and commentary on IP issues

A Unified Patent Court for Europe - Coming Soon?

UPC
Europe may soon have its Unified Patent Court and Williams Powell is ready to assist you. With attorneys qualified for the European Patent Litigation Certificate (which gives UPC rights of representation) and as a Patent Attorney Advocate & Litigator (which gives rights of representation in the UK Courts) we are well-placed not only to obtain I...
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386 Hits

Patent Sufficiency reconsidered by UK Court of Appeal

Sufficiency
This Court of Appeal Decision concerned two families of patents held by FibroGen:Family A and Family B relating to H1F-PH inhibitors for the treatment of (respectively) CKD anaemia (anaemia associated with chronic kidney disease) and ACD (anaemia of chronic disease).Family A was published before the relevant priority date of Family B, and so i...
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297 Hits

UK Court of Appeal judgment on the DABUS AI as inventor appeal

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On 21 September 2021 the Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in THALER v COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF PATENTS TRADE MARKS AND DESIGNS [2021] EWCA Civ 1374. The Court of Appeal, in a split 2/1 decision dismissed Dr Thaler's appeal. Lord Justice Arnold held in his judgment that there is no rule of law that a new intangible produced by existing ta...
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385 Hits

DABUS the AI system confirmed as the inventor and Dr Stephen Thaler as the owner of the DABUS inventions

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Today a second country has confirmed that DABUS, an artificial intelligence system, can be named as the inventor in a patent and that Dr Stephen Thaler as the rightful owner of the DABUS inventions. Following from patent applications filed by Williams Powell, first in the United Kingdom and at the European Patent Office, then by way of an inte...
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867 Hits

Illumina – Shining a light on DNA Sequencing Technology

Sequence
In this English High Court case relating to the infringement and validity of five patents held by Illumina, Mr Justice Birss decided upon several hot topics in the biotech patenting world. We summarise some of the most interesting points here. The Technology Briefly, the patents related to DNA sequencing technology.More specifically, three of ...
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809 Hits

Claiming Antibodies in European Patent Applications

Immune
In the past year, we have all heard more about antibodies in the general news than anyone ever desired. When we are exposed to pathogens, antibodies form a vital part of our immune systems in protecting us from deadly diseases.Isolated from the body or synthetically produced, antibodies can have many uses and are particularly important as therapeut...
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1273 Hits

Defining Amino Acid and Nucleic Acid Sequences in European Patent Applications

BioSeq
Welcome guidance on the interpretation of claims to amino acids and nucleic acids defined by their sequences is provided by updated Guidelines for Examination at the European Patent Office now in force. New section F-IV-4.24 sets out that both amino acid sequences and nucleic acid sequences can be defined by "percentage identity". The percenta...
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1011 Hits

UK IP rights - address for service changes

As of 1 January 2021, a UK, Gibraltar or Channel Islands address for service will be required for any new UK IP rights. This change has received parliamentary approval and is implemented in a UK IPO notice (TPN 2/2020) dated 21 December 2020. Action should be taken and we would be very happy to assist.  If your IP rights are&nbs...
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1423 Hits

Breaking News - DABUS granted Right to Appeal UK Judgement

We are delighted that the UK Court of Appeal has today granted Dr Thaler the right to appeal the DABUS decision, which involves the important issue of patentability of inventions created by AI systems. Williams Powell is handling the DABUS patent applications as well as the UK and EPO appeals. The cases had been rejected by the UK High Court. The o...
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1249 Hits

European Patent Office pushes use of video conferences in Opposition Division oral proceedings

 As of January 2021, parties will no longer have free choice on whether a hearing (oral proceedings) during examination or opposition is in person or via video conferencing before the European Patent Office (EPO). Video conferences will be the default. 12 months ago, we would have had to fight for a hearing (oral proceedings) to be held with t...
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919 Hits

Supplementary Protection Certificates: Only for First Use of an Authorised Product

A Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) can provide up to five years additional protection for a patented active ingredient of a pharmaceutical product that has received a marketing authorisation. The objective is to compensate a patent holder for the delay in being able to use the patent by the need to obtain the marketing authorisation. An S...
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573 Hits

UK IPO Calls for Views on Patents for AI Inventions

We have previously written about our involvement in filing and prosecuting patent applications for two inventions created by the AI inventor DABUS, and naming DABUS (the true deviser of the inventions) as the inventor.The UK IPO found the inventions to be both novel and inventive, and therefore, in principle, protectable by patent.  ...
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632 Hits

UK Withdraws from Unified Patent Court system - but likely with less impact than you would expect

On 20 July 2020, the UK Government announced its official withdrawal from the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement.  This is a disappointment but not unexpected.   Does this mark an end to over 40 years of efforts to produce a harmonised IP litigation process in Europe?  Of course not.  The UPC has, in recent year...
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1037 Hits

UK Patent Courts Warn Against Greedy Claims

Ever since the Decision issued back in 1997 in the case of Biogen v Medeva the concept of insufficiency has been extended, particularly in the chemical and biotech fields, to include claims that have "excessive breadth" (so-called "Biogen insufficiency"). The Courts in the UK have applied this frequently to revoke patents that they decide clai...
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1031 Hits

UK Supreme Court invalidates transgenic mouse patents for insufficiency

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' European patent EP 1360287 and its divisional EP 2264163 relate to methods of producing transgenic mice able to produce antibodies having human sequences, and the mice produced thereby. These patents covered the idea of producing mice having mixed human-murine gene sequences that could be subsequently modified t...
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1171 Hits

European Patent Office Suspends Late Payment Fees on Renewals

The European patent office has announced here that until 31 August 2020, no surcharge is payable for late paid renewal fees.  This provision applies to EPO renewal fees having a deadline (without extension) between 15 March 2020 and 30 August 2020.  Cases falling into this provision, will be deemed validly paid if the renew...
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1090 Hits

Plants Produced by Essentially Biological Processes are not Patentable in Europe

vegetables
You might think that an article dealing with broccoli, tomatoes and peppers ought to be on a recipe blog. However, these are the names of high profile cases in an area that, over recent years, has seen more change in European patent law than perhaps any other. It now seems that the European Patent Office wants closure. We reported here on the most ...
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1456 Hits

Clarification on patentability of plants and animals at European Patent Office?

The European Patent Office's Enlarged Board of Appeal, decided that "dynamic interpretation" on legal issues is possible and has issued a ruling that reverses its previous position and significantly changes the patentability of plants, plant materials and animals at the European Patent Office. The Enlarged Board of Appeal, ...
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1412 Hits

German Constitutional Court deals blow to Unified Patent Court

On Friday 20 March 2020 the German Federal Constitutional Court dealt a blow to the Unified Patent Court (UPC), issuing a decision to uphold a constitutional complaint lodged against the German ratification of the UPC agreement. The complainant (a German patent attorney), had argued that the ratification of the UPC agreement was contrary to the Ger...
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1005 Hits

European Patent Office Fee Increases

The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced its biennial fee increases.  These take effect from 1 April 2020. Details can be found here. As in the past, the majority of the increases are explained to be inflationary with an average increase of 4-5%. An notable exception is the appeal fee, which will be increasi...
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1124 Hits