19 November 2021

Inside IP Autumn Winter 2021

Venner Shipley’s Intellectual Property Magazine featuring a roundup of the latest cases and developments in IP.


A pdf downloadable version of the magazine is also available at the bottom of this page.

A word from the editor: Simon Taor

We are still finding ourselves settling into the post-COVID-19 world, and we are enjoying being back in the office. For now, we are working in a hybrid way, getting the best out of spending time in the offices with our teams and colleagues as well as working from home.

There has been much discussion in the press in recent months of a patent waiver in respect of COVID-19 vaccines. But what does this actually mean and could it ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for everyone? Kirsty Simpson looks at this question in “Would a patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines be effective?”

We continue to be at the forefront of patenting computer-implemented inventions and we are closely following how G1/19 has been shaping case law. Peter Thorniley also covers the recent DABUS high court judgements in “The Ghost in the Machine”, and Gary Whiting explores “IP Rights in Open Source Software.”

From a regulatory point of view, this edition includes an update on the latest developments regarding the UP/UPC, as well as an update on patent law reform in Germany by my German colleague Michael Fischer. Also, Clare Turnbull and Ian Grey, my colleagues from our trade mark and design teams, explore a number of important changes to UK law and practice in their article “Brexit Shakedown.”

No Inside IP edition would be complete without case law updates from our patents, trade mark and design teams, and this issue includes a wide variety of such articles.

A big thank you to all our contributing authors, and I hope you find something of interest! Staying connected is of the upmost importance to us, so please reach out if you have any suggestions, questions or ideas for future content. I am, together with my colleagues across the UK and Germany, as always, only an email or call away.

To read further click below:

Would a Patent Waiver for COVID-19 Vaccines be Effective?
Kirsty Simpson provides an analysis of recent discussions in the press of a patent waiver in respect of COVID-19 vaccines.

Doubling Down – Prohibition of Double Patenting Affirmed at the EPO
Through the decision of G 4/19, the EPO has established the legal basis for the prohibition of double patenting. Emma Longland provides discussion of what this means for applicants at the European Patent Office.

EPO Considers Antibodies Defined by Reference to Deposited Hybridomas
Sian Gill highlights how antibodies have recently been receiving a lot of close attention at the European Patent Office (EPO).

Are We Moving Closer to Anticipation by Equivalence?
The landmark decision in Actavis v Eli Lilly[1] (Actavis) in July 2017 changed the United Kingdom’s approach to the scope of protection of patent claims. James Tumbridge and David Pountney discuss how the law in this area continues to evolve.

Patents – To Infinity and Beyond?
Jack Rogan asks can territorial rights provide protection in outer space and how can space inventions be best protected?

Patent Law Reform in Germany: Injunction with a Proportionality Test – A Sharp Sword Becoming Blunt?
Michael Fischer highlights how thanks to Germany’s bifurcated system, a claimant may quickly obtain injunctive relief before a District Court based on a judicially determined infringement of a patent.

Intellectual Property Rights and Open Source Software – A Cocktail Case Study
Gary Whiting explores the interplay between intellectual property rights (IPR) and open source software (OSS) and considers whether OSS and IPR can co-exist.

The Ghost in the Machine
Peter Thorniley provides an update on the judgment handed down on 21 September 2021 regarding obtaining patent applications naming an AI system as inventor.

Update on the Latest Developments regarding the UP/UPC
Pawel Piotrowicz, Peter Thorniley and Jan Walaski report on the significant decision of the German Federal Constitutional Court on the Unitary Patent/Unified Patent Court (UP/UPC) proposals.

Protection of Sounds, Jingles, and Mogos
Jane Martin recaps on the EU Trade Mark Directive 2015 and how MP3 and other sound files have been accepted by the UK Intellectual Property Office and the European Union Intellectual Property Office.

Enlarged Board of Appeal Referral on Plausibility
The issue of plausibility has now been formally referred to the highest judicial authority at the EPO to clarify the circumstances in which post-filed data can be used to assist with patentability of a patent application or validity of a patent. Sian Gill explores plausibility at the EPO (G2/21) for armchair inventions.

MONOPOLY – Trade Mark Appeal Edition
Hasbro, Inc. (Hasbro) had one of its European Union trade mark registrations for MONOPOLY struck out in part by the Board of Appeal on the basis that it was filed in bad faith. Camilla Sexton highlights this case and the appeal.

Brexit Shakedown
Clare Turnbull and Ian Grey discuss a number of important changes to UK law and practice since the UK left the EU, in relation to trade marks and designs.

The Future Regulation of Artificial Intelligence is Taking Shape
Robert Peake looks at how the future regulation of Artificial Intelligence (the ‘AI Act’) is taking shape.

Brighter Future for Registered Design Owners Following High Court Decision Finding Infringement
Alex Brown discusses the trial before the United Kingdom’s Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC), where two UK registered designs for outdoor wall lights were found to have been infringed by a competitor’s similar products.

VS News
A round-up of the latest Venner Shipley news.