EPO Supervisory Body To Face Fears Over Patent Quality, Judicial Independence

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As staff strikes continue and the European Patent Office’s Administrative Council prepares for what could be a contentious 11 December meeting, opinions are split over the effect of the turmoil on the office’s role in Europe’s unitary patent.

One Bite At The Apple: PTAB Closes IPR Joinder Loophole

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As a result of the America Invents Act enacted three years ago, the United States Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) now handles inter partes reviews (IPR)—a new trial proceeding used to challenge the validity of patent claims based on patents and printed publications. Recently, the PTAB has caused a split concerning the proper scope of the IPR joinder provision, which grants the PTAB discretion to join a “party” to a previously-instituted IPR. In the past, the PTAB interpreted the term “party” expansively to include petitioners for whom it had already instituted an IPR. Petitioners were quick to jump on this loophole, and have since sought to raise new arguments in an instituted IPR by filing a subsequent petition and seeking joinder with the in-progress proceeding.

A Middle-Path: Advocate-General’s Opinion On Abuse Of Dominance For FRAND-Encumbered SEPs

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For the first time, the European Advocate-General has suggested on the grounds of European competition law the context for negotiations of fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms, and has set criteria for the enforcement of injunctions and other remedies in actions involving infringement of standard-essential patents (SEPs). The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) decision is still pending.

CEIPI Celebrates 5oth Anniversary With Major Conference

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The highly esteemed Center for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI) in Strasbourg will mark its 50th anniversary this week with a conference featuring the top names in the European IP community. Below is the press release announcing the event: Conference CEIPI / 27-28 November 2014 Council of Europe, Strasbourg “Perspectives for the Intellectual Property System […]

Keyword Advertising: The Next Instalment In The Interflora v M&S Saga

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A few days after the first South African case to consider the issue of internet keyword advertising (Cochrane Steel Products (Pty) Ltd v M-Systems Group (Pty) Ltd & Another Case 39605/13, 29 October 2014), we had the next instalment – from the English Court of Appeal – in the dispute between Interflora and Marks & Spencer (Interflora Inc & Another v Marks & Spencer plc [2014] EWCA Civ 1403). Yes, it is, indeed, not just any dispute concerning keyword advertising. It appears that these two litigants have taken it upon themselves to definitively settle the law relating to keyword advertising, through the various judgments their dispute is yielding.

US Courts Recognise New Performers’ Rights

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For performers and record labels in the United States, it is terrific news. They possess previously unrecognised rights in audio recordings, according to three recent court rulings. But not everyone is pleased about this. The decisions not only upend 75 years of US copyright law, they create big problems for broadcasters, webcasters and many other internet firms, all of whom now face hefty liability for copyright infringement.

UK High Court Orders ISPs To Block Trademark-Infringing Websites

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In what may be a test case for trademark owners battling counterfeiters, the UK High Court has ordered five internet service providers (ISPs) to block websites that were advertising and selling bogus goods. The ruling could have implications beyond Britain, the court said. ISPs, meanwhile, said the best way to handle infringing websites is to remove them at source rather than blocking.

Australia Accuses Tobacco Industry Of ‘Regulatory Chill’ In WTO Plain Packaging Case

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Australia this week at the World Trade Organization said the tobacco industry is applying a “well-known tactic” of instilling a “regulatory chill” on WTO members’ efforts to implement plain-packaging anti-smoking strategies. It also said pro-tobacco countries should not keep putting the issue on WTO committee agendas while their dispute settlement cases are running their course.

Limitations And Exceptions As Key Elements Of The Legal Framework For Copyright In The European Union – Opinion On The Judgment Of The CJEU In Case C-201/13 Deckmyn

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In this opinion, the European Copyright Society (ECS) puts on record its views on the issues raised by the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Case C-201/13, Deckmyn, which departs from the doctrine of strict interpretation of exceptions and limitations in cases in which fundamental rights such as freedom of expression are involved.