Showing posts from 2019

Cryptoassets and Smart Contracts

Jane Lambert

in its Legal Statement on Cryptoassets and Smart Contractsthe UK Jurisdiction Taskforce ("UKJT") published the opinions of  Lawrence Akka QC, David Quest QC, Matthew Lavy and Sam Goodman ("the drafting committee") on a number of legal questions relating to cryptoassets and smart contracts where there are areas of perceived uncertainty.

The Institutions

The UKJT is chaired by Sir Geoffrey Vos, Chancellor of the High Court and consists of Lawrence Akka QC, Sir Nicholas Green, Chair of the Law Commission of England and Wales, as an observer, Richard Hay of Linklaters LLP. Peter Hunn of the Accord Project, Mary Kyle of the City of London Corporation, Christopher Woolard of the Financial Conduct Authority and Mr Justice Zacaroli.  The publication was delivered by the LawTech Delivery Panel which describes itself as "an industry-led, government-backed initiative, established to support the transformation of the UK legal sector through tech." It ap…

Patents - Conversant Wireless Licensing v Apple Retail UK and Others

Jane Lambert

Patents Court (Mr Justice Birss) Conversant Wireless Licensing SARL v Apple Retail UK Ltd and others [2019] EWHC 3266 (Pat) (29 Nov 2019)

This was a claim for the infringement of British patent GB2365712, The claimant, Conversant Wireless Licensing Sarl, has acquired a large patent portfolio in mobile telecommunications and related technologies (including the patent in suit) which it offers to license.   It alleged that certain features of the user interface of the iPhone infringed the patent.   Apple Inc and its British and Irish subsidiaries denied infringement and challenged the validity of the patent on grounds of obviousness. There was also an application by Conversant to amend the patent mainly by substituting the words "smartp phone" for "computing device" wherever they occurred and adding some wording to Claim 1. The action came on before Mr Justice Birss who tried it on the 4, 5, 6 and 8 Nov and delivered judgment on 29. His lordship found at p…

Supplementary Protection Certificates - The Waiver Regulation

Jane Lambert

On 1 July 2019 Regulation (EU) 2019/933 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2019 amending Regulation (EC) No 469/2009 concerning the supplementary protection certificate for medicinal products (Text with EEA relevance.) OJ L 153, 11.6.2019, p. 1–10 came into force.  It consists of 30 paragraphs of recitals but only 2 articles. Art 1 amends Regulation (EC) No 469/2009 of the Europea Parliament and of the Council f 6 May 2009concerning the supplementary protection certificate for medicinal products OJ 16.6.2009 L 152 p1-9 so as to enable generic and biosimilar manufacturers to make products that are protected by supplementary protection certificates ("SPC") for export to third countries or to stockpile them for distribution from the moment the SPC expires.  Art 2 provided for Regulation 2019/933 to enter into force on the 20th day following its publication in the Official Journal.

What is an SPC?

An SPC is an intellectual property right akin to …

Copyright - Ashley Wilde Group Ltd. v BCPL Limited

Jane Lambert

Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (Judge Melissa Clarke) Ashley Wilde Group Ltd v BCPL Ltd [2019] EWHC 3166 (IPEC) (21 Nov2019)

This was an action for infringement of copyright in a prototype for a bed linen range.  An example of a duvet cover from that range appears at the top of the above photo together with an example of the allegedly infringing item at the bottom. The claimant's product, known as "Evangeline" was sold as part of the "Kylie Minogue at Home" range even though the prototype had been made by one of the claimant's employees and not by Kylie Minogue.   The defendant's, called "Amore", was under the "Buy Caprice Home" brand even though it had been designed not by the Caprice in question (the celebrity Caprice Bourret) but by a freelance designer.

In her judgment of 21 Nov 2019, Her Honour Judge Melissa Clarke dismissed the claim on the ground that there had been no copying.  She also made some importan…

Patents - Excel-Eucan Ltd v Source Vagabond Systems Ltd

Jane Lambert
Patents Court (HH Judge Melissa Clarke) Excel-Eucan Ltd v Source Vagabond Systems Ltd [2019] EWHC 3175 (Pat) (21 Nov 2019)

This action began as a claim for:
a declaration that a patent licence agreement subsisted between the parties,royalties payable under that agreement or, alternatively, damages for breach of the agreement.  The defendant counterclaimed for declarations that:
the agreement had been terminated, the agreement was unenforceable in the absence of a valid patent, the claimant's patents had not been infringed by the manufacture and sale of items that the defendant claimed to have developed independently of the claimant. and,no royalties were payable in respect of the manufacture and sale of those items.  By the time the action and counterclaim came on for trial, the defendant had admitted that the licence agreement had not been terminated and was valid and binding and that the claimant held valid patents.  The issues that Her Honour Judge Melissa Clarke was …

Designs - Shnuggle Ltd v Munchkin, Inc

Jane Lambert

Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (HH Melissa Clarke) Shnuggle Ltd v Munchkin, Inc and another[2019] EWHC 3149 (IPEC) (20 Nov 2019)

This was an action for the infringement of registered Community designs and unregistered design right and a counterclaim for a declaration of invalidity of one of those RCDs.  The action and counterclaim were tried by Her Honour Judge Melissa Clarke on 23 and 24 Sept 2019. She delivered her judgment on 20 Nov 2019 the transcript of which is at Shnuggle Ltd v Munchkin, Inc. and another [2019] EWHC 3149 (IPEC) (20 Nov2019)

The Parties

The claimant is a Northern Irish company called Shnuggle Ltd. ("Shnuggle") which designs, makes and markets baby products. The first defendant, Munchkin Inc. ("Munchkin") is a much bigger American company in the same industry. The second defendant, Lindam Ltd., ("Lindam") distributes Munchkin's products in the UK.

The Registered Designs

Shnuggle is the registered proprietor of …

Patents - Technetix BV v Teleste Ltd

Patents Court (HH Judge Hacon) Technetix BV and another v Teleste Ltd [2019] EWHC 3106 (Pat) (18 Nov 2019)

This was a claim for patent infringement and a counterclaim for revocation on grounds of anticipation, obviousness and added matter. There was also an application for unconditional and conditional amendments to the patent. The claim and counterclaim came on before His Honour Judge Hacon sitting as a judge of the Patents Court in  Technetix BV and another v Teleste Ltd [2019] EWHC 3106 (Pat) (18 Nov 2019). His Honour tried the action in May and delivered judgment on 18 Nov 2019. The learned judge held at paragraph [122] of his judgment that the patent was invalid on all three grounds .and refused the amendments though he found that the patent would have been infringed hand it been valid.

The Patent

The patent in suit was European patent 1259074 for a communication system comprising means for preventing intermodulation products which had been granted to the Dutch company, Technetri…