European IP Bulletin, Issue 93

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In Depth


Long Haul Patent Dispute: The Latest Chapter in The Aircraft Flat Bed Seat Litigation
The High Court of England and Wales has held that the main patent (as amended) owned by Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited for flat bed airline seats is valid but not infringed by the seats manufactured by Contour Aerospace Limited and used by the airline defendants.

Translations of Foreign Language Prior Art are Key in EPO Assessments
In Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson T 1688/08, a technical appeals board of the European Patent Office disapproved of the Examining Division’s approach in assuming that the skilled person would look only at the English abstract and drawings of a foreign language prior art document when considering obviousness in relation to a patent application.

Trade Marks

UK IPO Publishes Practice Amendment Notice on the Interpretation of Trade Mark SpecificationsUK IPO Publishes Practice Amendment Notice on the Interpretation of Trade Mark Specifications
In Practice Amendment Notice 01/12, the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) has clarified its approach to the interpretation of the specifications of trade mark applications in light of the Court of Justice of the European Union’s ruling in Case C-307/10 Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys v Registrar of Trade Marks.

Passing Off and Trade Marks

Use of “Fine” for Estate Agency Services Constitutes Passing Off and Trade Mark Infringement
In Fine & Country Limited and others v Okotoks Limited and others [2012] EWHC 2230 (Ch), 31 July 2012, the High Court of England and Wales has held that use of the word “fine” in relation to the provision of estate agency services constituted passing off and infringement of the “Fine & Country” trade mark, dismissing Okotoks Limited’s claims for revocation of the marks.

Designs, Trade Marks and Passing Off

High Court Holds That Replica Alloy Wheels Infringe BMW’s Community Registered Designs
In Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft v Round and Metal Ltd and another [2012] EWHC 2099 (Pat), 27 July 2012, the High Court of England and Wales has held that replica alloy wheels for BMW and MINI cars infringed BMW’s Community Registered Designs (CRD). The “spare parts” defence under Article 110(1) of the Community Designs Regulation (6/2002/EC) (CDR) did not apply. The Court held further that the defendant infringed BMW’s Community trade marks (CTM) by importing and selling replica wheels into the United Kingdom.


Amendments to UK Design Legislation
Following a consultation on amendments to UK design legislation, the Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) proposes to remove the limitation on liability for innocent infringement of UK registered designs and to equalise the remedies available for innocent infringement of UK and Community design rights (CDRs).


Consultation on The Implementation of The Consumer Rights Directive
The UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is consulting on its proposed approach to implementing the Consumer Rights Directive (2011/83/EU) (CRD).

Data Protection

Information Commissioner’s Office Publishes Guidance on Deletion of Personal Data
As part of a series of guidance, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published new guidance on deleting personal information under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and how organisations and businesses can comply with the fifth data protection principle as set out in the DPA.