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Showing posts from June, 2012

Copyright: Massey v Dinamo Productions

Massey (Child) v Dinamo Productions Ltd [2012] EWPCC 27 (13 June 2012) was an unusual case in that the claimant was a minor when the claim began. He claimed £2 million for copyright infringement and appears to have acted for himself throughout the proceedings. 
The claimant's complaint was that defendant television production company had appropriated his idea for a children's TV show to be called "The Wordles" which he offered to the BBC in July 2010. The defendant also developed a script for an episode of a children's TV show that was to be called "The Wordles" but that took place in 2009.  There was no direct contact between the parties until just before the claimant brought his action.  Their only point of contact was through a third party called Kavaleer.
The defendant applied to strike out the claim on the grounds that "it is without foundation and there is no real prospect of the case succeeding."  Mr. Recorder Campbell considered the ap…

Patents: Smith & Nephew Plc v Convatec Technologies Inc.

In"Educating Samuel: No. 1 Added Matter" 4 Nov 2008 I explained what is meant by "added matter." There are not many cases on added matter.   One such wasSmith & Nephew Plc v Convatec Technologies Inc[2012] EWHC 1602 (Pat).


The Context
This was an application by Smith & Nephew to revoke Convatec's European Patent (UK) No. 1,343,510 entitled "Light Stabilized Antimicrobial Materials" on various grounds. In the course of the proceedings Convatec conceded that the patent was invalid and applied to amend.  Smith & Nephew objected to the amendments on the ground that they constituted added matter contrary to s.76 (3) of the Patents Act 1977 of the Patents Act 1977. They also argued obviousness and insufficiency.

The Section
S.76 of the Act provides as follows:
"Amendment of applications and patents not to include added matter76.-(1) An application for a patent which -
(a) is made in respect of matter disclosed in an earlier application, or i…

Patents: Consultation on IPO Opinions

S.13 of the Patents Act 2004 inserted two new sections into the Patents Act 1977.

S.74A provides as follows:

"74 A Opinions as to validity or infringement
(1) The proprietor of a patent or any other person may request the comptroller to issue an opinion—
(a) as to whether a particular act constitutes, or (if done) would constitute, an infringement of the patent;
(b) as to whether, or to what extent, the invention in question is not patentable because the condition in section 1(1)(a) or (b) above is not satisfied.
(2) Subsection (1) above applies even if the patent has expired or has been surrendered.
(3) The comptroller shall issue an opinion if requested to do so under subsection (1) above, but shall not do so—
(a) in such circumstances as may be prescribed, or
(b) if for any reason he considers it inappropriate in all the circumstances to do so.
(4) An opinion under this section shall not be binding for any purposes.
(5) An opinion under this section shall be prepared by an examiner.
(6) …

The End of Mediation?

One the most surprising and in many ways depressing passages of the IPO's publication "From ideas to growth: Helping SMEs get value from their intellectual property" (April 2012) is the statement on page 17 that only 13 mediations have been conducted by the IPO in the past 5 years, and just one in the past year.  Because the usage is so low the IPO is thinking of discontinuing the service altogether unless it can be adapted.   The IPO has requested feedback on perceived awareness levels and how, if the service does continue, the IPO might increase its visibility.

The IPO's mediation service is extraordinarily good value.   A full day mediation in Newport facilitated by a CEDR (Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution) trained mediator with specialist knowledge and experience of intellectual property including accommodation costs £750.  The same mediator will come to the IPO's London premises for just another £250.   So why is the service used so little?

Not becaus…