European IP Bulletin, Issue 55

Overview


In Depth

Patents

Software protection—dynamic links
In Symbian Ltd v Comptroller General of Patents [2008] EWCA Civ 1066, the English Court of Appeal provides guidance on the test for establishing whether a software program is patentable.

Cross-undertaking of compensation for an interim injunction
The decision of the High Court in Les Laboratoires Servier v Apotex Inc[2008] EWHC 2347 demonstrates how costly it can be for a claimant in a patent action who, having given a cross-undertaking on an interim injunction, ultimately loses the main battle.

UK Manual of Patent Practice updated
The UK Manual of Patent Practice was recently updated. It is an invaluable tool for anyone needing access to the nuts and bolts of patent procedure before the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office.

Patent Prosecution Super Highway
The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) trial scheme was launched on 29 September 2008. This new scheme is designed to promote cooperation between the European Patent Office and the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Trade Marks

Slogans and distinctive character
In Imperial Chemical Industries v OHIM [2008] T-224/07 (unreported), the Court of First Instance has upheld OHIM’s refusal of a Community Trade Mark application for LIGHT & SPACE in respect of paint and related products, on the basis that it is devoid of distinctive character.

Parallel Imports

“Unwellcome” news for drugs companies
Following a reference from the Supreme Court of Austria to the European Court of Justice, the Advocate General, in The Wellcome Foundation Ltd v Paranova Pharmazeutica Handels GmbH [2008] C-276/05, has addressed the question of the repackaging and parallel importation of pharmaceuticals.

Databases

Sui generis right—concept of extraction
Following a reference from the German courts, the European Court of Justice has, in Directmedia Publishing GmbH v Albert‑Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg [2008] C‑304/07 (unreported), provided guidance on the concept of extraction in the context of infringement of the database right.

Commercial

The importance of registering transactions relating to intellectual property in Europe
A recent UK case, Thorn Security Ltd v Siemens Schweiz AG, has emphasised the need to register certain transfers of patent and trade mark rights with national patent offices.

EU consumer rights online—overhaul and upgrade
The European Commission has proposed an overhaul and upgrade of EU consumer rights online. The draft Directive on Consumer Rights sets out the proposed framework for the changes.

New Company Names Tribunal—opportunistic registrations
A new UK Company Names Tribunal has been established to enable brand owners to prevent the registration of company names similar to their company or business names.

Advertising & Marketing

Guidance on gambling advertisements
The Committee of Advertising Practice and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice have published guidance on the rules for gambling advertisements.

Sport

Conditional access and sports rights—good and bad news
The European Commission’s second report on the implementation of the Conditional Access Directive 98/84/EC was published on 6 October 2008. There are a number of implications for sports events rights holders and their licensees.