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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 2013, Mr Justice Gilligan refused an injunction sought by Galway Free Range Eggs Limited restraining Hillsbrook Eggs Limited from packaging or promoting their products under the name “O’Brien’s of Galway Free Range Eggs”. The Court held that it was not satisfied that the packaging used by the defendant was likely to deceive the public but did accept that there were issues to put forward to trial.

The substantive High Court hearing was held recently before Mr Justice Tony O’Connor and one of the bigger issues before the Court was the use of survey evidence and the weight to be attached to such opinion evidence.  The Court was highly sceptical of the value of market opinions and related questionnaires and stated that in this specific case “the evidence offered on behalf of the plaintiff concerning brand confusion was tenuous and unreliable”.


Continue Reading High Court finds brand survey evidence unreliable

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Following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, the EU Trade Secrets Directive (2016/943)on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure will enter in to force on the 5 July 2016. Member States will have two years from this

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The High Court in the UK has again endorsed the use of predictive coding, ruling it as being the most appropriate and proportionate approach to disclosure despite disagreement between the parties surrounding its use. In a previous blog, we outlined how the UK High Court in the Pyrrho case ruled that predictive coding was appropriate to discharge a parties obligations regarding electronic disclosure.

In the most recent judgment, (yet to be published), the concept of using predictive coding in a disclosure exercise was strongly contested. Berwin Leighton Paisner acting for the respondent note that the petitioner’s solicitors wished to adopt a “traditional” approach to document review, where the inboxes of an agreed a list of custodians would be filtered using an agreed list of search terms, and the responsive documents would be subject to a manual review.  It was put to the court that the costs of the traditional approach would be excessive, and that superior results could be achieved at a more proportionate cost using predictive coding.


Continue Reading UK High Court endorses Predictive Coding (Part II)

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The European Council was yesterday due to adopt the directive on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure (“Trade Secrets Directive“), following a vote by the European Parliament on 15 April 2016.  This was following a long legislative process which began with a draft directive in 2013.

Continue Reading Can you keep a (trade) secret?

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The High Court in the UK has fully endorsed the use of predictive coding in discharging a parties obligation regarding electronic disclosure. Master Matthews, in Pyrrho Investments and others v MWB Property and others [2016] EWHC 256 (Ch), noted in this case that "there were no factors of any weight" to point in the direction of not using predictive coding for the disclosure process.  This is the first time a UK Court has given judgment on the area, while noting the limited Irish and US jurisprudence on the topic.

Predictive coding, often referred to as technology assisted review, is the use of computer software to review and analyse documents, determining if they are of relevance to the issues of the case. It is not without human input however, as the computer must first be "trained" in order to determine relevance.  Based on the training received the software can review and score documents for relevancy, subject to quality assurance exercises carried out by the human reviewer.


Continue Reading UK High Court endorses Predictive Coding in Discovery

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The International Patents Group at Taylor Wessing recently launched their online patent map, an interactive tool that allows users to compare different patent litigation regimes across Europe. The tool answers key questions on the law and practice of patent litigation to include procedure, claim construction, validity, interim measures, costs, and appeals, while allowing users

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A Californian Judge, Gail J Standish, recently dismissed a copyright lawsuit where it was alleged that Taylor Swift had copied lyrics for her popular song "Shake It Off". Taylor Swift is in fact an avid fan of enforcing her own copyright, was facing a $42 million damages claim.   Jesse Graham filed the lawsuit claiming that

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The UPC Preparatory Committee has adopted and published the Rules and Procedure of the Unified Patent Court. The 18th draft of the agreed Rules is subject to change only with respect to the court fees that may be applicable.   The 1st draft, published in 2009, was progressed through stages of expert meetings and technical and public consultation and sets out the specific framework and functioning of the Unified Patent Court.
Continue Reading UPC publishes agreed Rules of Procedure- 18th Draft

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The Irish Patents Office has recently published its Annual Report for 2014 setting out trends, objectivities, activities throughout 2014 and what can be expected in 2015. The Annual Report sets out how the Irish Patent Office has discharged of its statutory functions under the Patents Act 1992 (as amended), the Trade Marks Acts 1996 (as amended), the Industrial Designs Act 2001 and the various statutory rules and regulations made under these Acts. A summary of the key findings are set out below.


Continue Reading Irish Patents Office Annual Report 2014