Patents

Shortly before today’s vote in the European Parliament on the Unitary EU Patent , Advocate General Bot recommended that the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) dismiss the actions brought by Spain and Italy objecting to the EU Patent package.

The Spanish and Italians did not support the compromise that the rest of Europe reached on the language regime for the Unitary EU Patent, which would allow Unitary EU Patents to be filed in English, French or German and granted without the need for translations into other European languages.

In order to progress the Unitary EU Patent despite the Spanish and Italian opposition and break the deadlock which had lasted for over 30 years, on March 10, 2011 the European Council decided to deal with the Unitary EU Patent package via the “enhanced cooperation procedure”.  This procedure allows groups of member states to move ahead together, without the involvement of all 27 EU member states.  It is intended as a last resort, and has only been used once before in European legislative history.
Continue Reading Blow to the Spanish and Italian Challenge to the Unitary EU Patent

Last month, China’s State Intellectual Property Office released a draft regulation governing employment inventions for public comment.  If implemented, the draft regulation would grant significant rights to employee inventors and would affect all companies conducting research and development in China.  Notably, the draft regulation would limit the employer and employee’s freedom to contract out of

Although the number of patents filed in China has exploded in recent years, resulting in China becoming the world’s top patent filer in 2011, a new report from the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China (European Chamber) takes the position that “the overall strength of China’s actual innovation appears overhyped,” and that China’s policies designed to encourage innovation may in fact hamper innovation.   The policies identified by the report include quantitative targets for patent applications, financial rewards for use and development of Chinese-owned or “indigenous” intellectual property, and state-funded megaprojects.  The European Chamber asserts that China’s “Soviet-style” emphasis on quantity, incremental innovation, and large-scale projects may actually hold back China’s innovative capacity, since “[o]ne cannot drive or ‘force’ creativity, but only nurture it.”
Continue Reading European Chamber Concludes That Chinese Patent Policies Hamper Innovation