In an earlier blog, we outlined that the UK confirmed its intention to ratify the International Agreement on a Unified Patent Court. In December 2016, the UK government proceeded to sign the Protocol on Privileges and Immunities of the Unified Patent Court. The Protocol provides EU privileges and immunities to the judges of
High Court finds brand survey evidence unreliable
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”.
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WiFi providers not liable for copyright infringement by users
On 16 March 2016, the Advocate General (AG) delivered an Opinion, in McFadden v Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH Case-484/14, that a business offering free WiFi access to the public cannot be held liable for copyright infringement committed by a user of that WiFI. The decision confirms the applicability of the E-Commerce Directive, and the “mere conduit” defence, to free WiFi providers.…
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ECHR rules employer can monitor personal messages sent by employee
In Barbulescu v Romania, a case concerning employees’ right to privacy, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) held that an employer could monitor and access personal messages sent by an employee during work hours from his Yahoo Messenger account. The decision, however, is not a precedent for unrestricted monitoring by employers of personal messages sent by employees during office hours.…
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UPC publishes agreed Rules of Procedure- 18th Draft
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.
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High Court grants injunction prohibiting further trade mark infringement in relation to advertising campaign which has ended.
The Irish High Court has issued a significant decision in Aldi Stores (Ireland) Limited & anor v- Dunnes Stores (No.2)  IEHC 551holding that a plaintiff is entitled as of right to an injunction where a trade mark is infringed in the course of a comparative advertising campaign even where the advertising campaign in question has ended. The defendant has indicated that it will be appealing the finding of liability made by the court. …
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Irish Ratification of UPC not expected until at least 2016
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.…
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Ireland to establish local division of Unified Patent Court
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation has announced that Ireland will establish a local division of the Unified Patent Court. This of course is subject to Ireland ratifying the International Agreement (signed February 2013) on a Unified Patent Court by way of referendum. Under the terms of the International Agreement, Ireland has the choice of setting …
UK Court of Appeal not concerned with any spilt milk
The UK Court of Appeal has upheld a decision of the UK Patent Court where Mr Justice Birss gave summary judgment in an action for a declaration of non-infringement (Nampak Plastics Europe Ltd v Alpha UK Ltd 2014 EWHC 2196 (Pat)). The case, involving rivals in the plastic milk bottle business, saw the claimant Nampak Plastics Europe Limited bringing an action against Alpla UK Limited alleging infringement of its patent for a plastic milk container (ECO1). Alpla, denying infringement, produced a modified bottle (ECO2) and brought a claim for a declaration of non-infringement under Section 71 of the 1977 Patents Act and subsequently sought summary judgment from the court, which was granted.…
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CJEU rules that the Data Retention Directive is invalid
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that the Data Retention Directive 2006/24/EC (Directive) is invalid.
The Irish High Court (in Digital Rights Ireland Ltd v Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources & Ors C-293/12) and the Austrian Constitutional Court (in Kärntner Landesregierung, Michael Seitlinger, Christof Tschohl and others, C 594/12), asked the CJEU to examine the validity of the Directive.…
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