Bringing you regular news of key developments in intellectual property law.


Oleg Iliich Epshtein v Comptroller-General of Patent, Designs and Trade Marks [2016] EWHC 1511 (Ch)

The High Court reversed a decision of the IPO that eleven patent applications relating to ultra-low dose antibody compositions lacked industrial capability and sufficiency. The High Court reiterated that once therapeutic effect is established as being plausible by means of tests and data, it does not matter that no plausible scientific theory can be put forward to explain how the effect is achieved. The case was remitted to the IPO for further consideration of the other patentability issues.

For the full text of the decision, please click here.

Napp Pharmaceutical Holdings Ltd v Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (UK) Ltd [2016] EWHC 1581 (Pat)

In this case the Patents Court considered the de minimis principle and whether there is a threshold which must be reached in order for patent infringement to occur. The case concerned a European Patent for a pain relief patch, which the Claimant claimed would be infringed by the Defendants’ competing products. On the basis of the facts of the case, the Court held that the proportion of the Defendants’ products that would infringe the patent was so low as to be considered de minimis. This meant there was no threat to infringe the patent.

This decision provides guidance on the de minimis principle and shows the willingness of the English courts to acknowledge this as a defence to infringement. However, the decision has now been appealed on an expedited basis and judgment is awaited from the Court of Appeal.

For the full text of the decision, please click here.


Glaxo Wellcome UK Ltd v Sandoz Ltd [2016] EWHC 1537 (Ch)

In a summary judgment application, as part of a wider infringement action, the High Court has held that one of Glaxo Group Limited’s colour marks is invalid. In doing so, the court has illustrated the fact that such marks must constitute a single sign and that care should be taken to ensure that any visual representation is closely tied to the textual description to avoid ambiguity.

For the full text of the decision, please click here.


Tobias McFadden v Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH [2016] Case C-484/14

The CJEU has handed down a landmark judgment for European Copyright law in this case, ruling that a free Wi-Fi provider is not liable for third party copyright infringements due to the protections afforded under Article 12 of Directive 2000/31, but that it may be required to take steps to terminate or prevent intellectual property infringements from being carried out on the network in concern. This judgment leaves little room for rightsholders to attack businesses that offer free Wi-Fi for the illegal acts of third parties using their network connection. The CJEU has, however, sought to find a balance between competing interests by allowing an action for an injunction against a provider to ensure the network is password protected and those who use the network properly reveal their identity before securing access.

For the full text of the decision, please click here.

GS Media BV v Sanoma Media Netherlands BV and Others [2016]Case C-160/15

The CJEU has handed down a judgment in a case referred to it by the Dutch Supreme Court involving the hyperlinking to third party websites of unpublished photographs owned by the rightsholder. It held that in order to assess the question of whether a hyperlink to a work uploaded to the internet without the consent of the rights holder constitutes a communication to the public, it must first be determined whether or not the hyperlinks had originally been provided for financial gain and whether or not the individual posting the hyperlinks knew, or should reasonably have known, that the work in question was being published without rightsholder consent. If both of these questions are answered affirmatively, the hyperlink in question is a communication to the public.

For the full text of the decision, please click here.