Patent and Pharma Update, February 2020

    Key recent developments in the United Kingdom and Europe relating to patents and the pharmaceutical sector In this issue we report on the Supreme Court decision of Shanks v Unilever on employee inventor compensation. We update on two CJEU decisions relation to public access to documents submitted to the EMA and a key competition decision on “pay-for-delay” agreements. We … Read more

    Future of Consumer – Fighting for a consumer-friendly market: stricter rules in the EU

    In the latest edition in our Future of Consumer series, our Milan office looks at the impact of the EU's "New Deal for Consumers" , with a particular focus on Italy. A spate of high-profile cases across the EU has brought the spotlight firmly on how to combat unfair commercial practices and increase consumer protection. The European Commission has been focussing on how to increase consumer protection and reinforce the EU's reputation for being a high quality, safe trading place. The outcome is the EU's "New Deal for Consumers" legislative package which came into force on 7 January 2020. Member States have 24 months to implement it. Read more

    ECJ rules for the first time on “pay-for-delay” agreements

    On 30 January 2020 the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) clarified for the first time the criteria governing whether so-called “pay-for-delay” agreements entered into between originator and generic pharmaceutical companies fall foul of EU competition law rules. Such agreements are a form of patent dispute settlement, whereby in return for a value transfer, a generic … Read more

    OPEN INNOVATION & COLLABORATION: Triggering and managing innovation and collaboration & the IP, data and competition issues involved

    Open Innovation: Forging innovation and collaboration In the first of a two-part series on open innovation, we explore how organisations can manage and benefit from the changing nature of innovation and collaboration. Open Innovation: IP, data and competition issues In part two, we look deeper into some specific issues that arise in the context of … Read more

    EPO publishes reasons for rejecting AI as inventor on patent application

    The European Patent Office (‘EPO’) has published its reasons for rejecting two patent applications on the grounds that an AI system known as DABUS, rather than a human, was named as the inventor. These patent applications appear to have been filed as a “test case” as part of the Artificial Inventor Project, which is seeking … Read more

    Brexit & IP – status quo for the transition period; changes to come post-transition

    From 23.00 on 31 January 2020, the UK will no longer a member state of the EU, although it will be treated as such for the duration of the transition period. From an IP point of view, the status quo will be maintained during the transition period (currently until the end of December 2020). Here we look at how the Withdrawal Agreement acts to preserve IP rights in the UK which were previously based on EU rights, and what changes are anticipated post-transition, as well as the aspirations of the Political Declaration. Read more

    CJEU Decision in SkyKick offers relief to trade mark owners

    The CJEU has today handed down a crucial decision as it seeks to provide clarification on important questions about the extent of the monopoly businesses can obtain legitimately through the registration of a trade mark. The CJEU held that a registered trade mark cannot be declared wholly or partly invalid as a result of a lack of clarity and precision of the terms used to designate the goods and services covered by that registration. Further, whilst invalidity on the ground of bad faith may be triggered where an applicant registers a mark without any intention to use it in relation to specified goods and services, bad faith will only be established in exceptional circumstances. This outcome is very helpful to existing trade mark proprietors and favours the existing status quo of the trade mark system. Read more