With the growth of the biotech industry and the maturing of the first breakthrough inventions, litigation over patents is becoming more frequent and spreading around the world. MIP has selected five important cases from the US, Australia, France and Germany that highlight some of the issues that have arisen in the past year. Emma Barraclough, James Nurton and Peter Ollier look at how the cases developed, and why they are significant for the industry
The US has, until now, been the preferred habitat of the patent troll. But assertive licensing companies are becoming increasingly aware of how they can use Europe's fragmented system of patent rules to their negotiating advantage, explain William Cook and Dafydd Bevan
Some US courts have embraced the aesthetic functionality doctrine to the detriment of trade mark owners. But recent court decisions limiting the applicability of the doctrine should provide some comfort to trade mark owners. Tywanda Lord considers the latest legal developments
How you prosecute a patent can affect how enforceable the right is. Blayne Peacock and Tim Watkin explain why legal changes in Singapore could mean that applicants face unexpected consequences if they try to patent on the cheap in one of Asia's burgeoning R&D centres
English courts are known for being thorough, but that can be expensive for litigants. Brian Whitehead, Stuart Jackson and Richard Kempner examine ways you can reduce the costs
The US Supreme Court decision in MedImmune gave licensees the right to challenge a licensed patent while continuing to pay royalties. But those patent owners that are responding to the new challenge by redrafting their licences must pay close attention to EU competition rules, say Sangeeta Puran and David Fyfield
Biotech inventors operate at the cutting-edge of technology, so they depend on strong and predictable IP protection. But is the IP system (including patent offices, courts, attorneys, lawyers) letting them down?
Trade mark owners are increasingly frustrated at having to police online auction websites to prevent sales of fakes. In an open letter to eBay, one IP lawyer demands action. Ray Black
A monthly column devoted to IP curiosities and controversies, named in honour of John of Utynam – who received the world's first recorded patent in 1449
November / December 2019
IP law: are the pressures taking their toll?
Following World Mental Health Day, Max Walters seeks the views of in-house professionals on whether they struggle with workplace pressures, and asks how to improve wellbeing
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