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The UK has confirmed today that it intends to ratify the International Agreement on a Unified Patent Court. The Minister of State for Energy and Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, reportedly made the statement at a meeting of the EU Competitive Council.

There has been much commentary on the political and legal challenges the UK would face in joining the system post-Brexit. It does remain the possibility that the UK could join the system and then be ejected, something which is most likely to be determined post-Brexit.


Continue Reading UK will say “Yes” to UPC

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In an earlier update we announced that Ireland is to establish a local division of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), subject to Ireland ratifying the International Agreement on a UPC by way of referendum. The International Agreement was signed by 25 EU Member States on 19 February 2013 and needs to be ratified by at least 13 states, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom to enter into force. There are currently only seven states that have ratified the Agreement with the Preparatory Committee of the UPC (which will remain in operation until the UPC is established) noting that many Member States hope to ratify in 2015.


Continue Reading Irish Ratification of UPC not expected until at least 2016

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Those involved in technology deals express differing views on source code escrow. These views range from resignation that the supplier won’t agree to it to the view that even if we do get it, it will only be available on the provided non-negotiable terms or a fear that even if we could get our hands on the code, we wouldn’t know what to do with it. In our experience, the position is not quite as black and white on any of these points. There is an extra aspect to think about in relation to technology offerings which include software as a service and traditional source code escrow may not always be appropriate here. Public disputes on escrow arrangements are few and far between and that’s why a recent English High Court case is worth a read. The decision in the case, Filmflex Movies Limited and Piksel Limited can be accessed here.

Continue Reading Source Code Escrow – Case Law Developments

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In an important decision for unregistered design right holders, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the CJEU) delivered its judgment yesterday in Karen Millen Fashions Ltd v Dunnes Stores (Case C-345/13).

Background

Karen Millen Fashions, a well-known British clothing retailer, claimed infringement of their unregistered design rights in three items of clothing by Dunnes Stores, a large Irish retail chain. The Irish High Court granted relief to Karen Millen in the form of an injunction restraining Dunnes Stores from using the designs and also in damages. Dunnes Stores, although not denying that it had copied the Karen Millen designs, appealed the decision to the Irish Supreme Court on the grounds that the items of clothing did not have individual character within the meaning of Article 6 of Regulation 6/2002 (The Regulations) and further that Karen Millen Fashions Ltd were required, under the Regulations, to prove that the design had individual character.

The Irish Supreme Court in turn referred two questions to the CJEU under the preliminary reference procedure.


Continue Reading CJEU rules on unregistered design rights