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Showing posts from September, 2019

The Labour Party's Proposals for Patent Reform

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Jane Lambert

It is not often that intellectual property is discussed at a party conference.  While public attention was focused on the Supreme Court's decision in R (Miller) v The Prime Minister [2019] UKSC 41, the leader of the opposition made this very interesting commitment in his speech to the Labour Party conference:

"We will redesign the system to serve public health – not private wealth – using compulsory licensing to secure generic versions of patented medicines. We’ll tell the drugs companies that if they want public research funding then they’ll have to make their drugs affordable for all. And we will create a new publicly owned generic drugs manufacturer to supply cheaper medicines to our NHS saving our health service money and saving lives. We are the party that created the NHS. Only Labour can be trusted with its future."

He made that commitment after talking about the child in the video above.  According to the Labour Party leader, t…

Unregistered Community Designs - Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company v PMS International Group Plc

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Jane Lambert

Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (HH Judge Hacon) Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company v PMS International Group Plc[2019] EWHC 2419 (IPEC)

Art 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides:

"The Court of Justice of the European Union shall have jurisdiction to give preliminary rulings concerning:
(a) the interpretation of the Treaties;
(b) the validity and interpretation of acts of the institutions, bodies, offices or agencies of the Union;
Where such a question is raised before any court or tribunal of a Member State, that court or tribunal may, if it considers that a decision on the question is necessary to enable it to give judgment, request the Court to give a ruling thereon.
Where any such question is raised in a case pending before a court or tribunal of a Member State against whose decisions there is no judicial remedy under national law, that court or tribunal shall bring the matter before the Court.
If such a qu…

Blocking Injunctions - Nintendo Co Ltd v Sky UK Ltd and Others

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Jane Lambert

High Court, Chancery Division (Mr Justice Arnold) Nintendo Co. Ltd. v Sky UK Ltd and others [2019] EWHC 2376 (Ch)

This was a claim by the famous consumer electronics and video games company, Nintendo Company Limited, for an order requiring Sky UK Ltd and four other internet service providers to block, or at least impede, access by their customers to four websites that advertise, distribute, offer for sale and/or sell devices that circumvent Nintendo's technical protection measures for its game consoles.

As all the target websites used Nintendo's trade marks in their advertising, Nintendo based its application in part on principles established by the Court of Appeal in Cartier International AG and others v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd and others [2017] Bus LR 1, [2016] ETMR 43, [2016] Info TLR 1, [2017] Bus LR 723, [2016] EWCA Civ 658, [2017] 1 All ER (Comm) 507, [2016] EMLR 23, [2017] 1 All ER 700, [2016] WLR(D) 389, [2017] RPC 3 and refined by the Supreme Court i…

Contracts - Volumatic v Ideas for Life

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Jane Lambert

Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (Mr David Stone) Volumatic Ltd v Ideas for Life Ltd [2019] EWHC 2273 (IPEC) (29 Aug 2019)

This was a claim by Volumatic Ltd ("Volumatic") for specific performance of an agreement that was alleged to have neem entered by Ideas for Life Ltd. ("IFL") for the assignment of "all property rights" including certain patents in a banknote pouch for Volumatic's cash counting machines to be designed by IIFL. IFL resisted the claim on a number of grounds including whether the alleged agreement (referred to in the judgment as "the Agreement") was legally binding and, if it was, whether it could be specifically enforced.

At the case management conference, Judge Hacon had listed the following issues to be tried:

"1. Whether the Agreement (alternatively stages 2 and 3 of the Agreement) has contractual force and particularly:
(a) whether there was an intention to create legal relations;
(b) whether the ter…

Interim Injunctions - Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp v Clonmel Healthcare Ltd.

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Jane Lambert

Irish Supreme Court (Chief Justice Clarke and Justices O'Donnel Donal, McKechnie, Dunne, O'Malley and Iseult) Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp v Clonmel Healthcare Ltd.[2019] IESC 65, 31 July 2019

This was an unusual appeal in that the discretion of an applications judge and the decision of a majority of the appellate court were second-guessed after the expiry of the intellectual property right upon which the applicant for an interim injunction had relied.  The Supreme Court of Ireland allowed an appeal against the Irish Court of Appeal's decision in Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp v Clonmel Healthcare Ltd. [2018] IECA 177 to reject an appeal from Mr Justice Haughton's refusal to restrain Clonmel Healthcare Ltd. from marketing a product that was alleged to have infringed Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp Ltd' s Irish supplementary protection certificate 3005'2001.

Merck had owned patents for simvastatin, a statin for the treatment of cholesterol. and ezetimibe.…