This week on MIP: In-house offer EPO quality assessment, EU law sunsetting faces hurdles
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This week on MIP: In-house offer EPO quality assessment, EU law sunsetting faces hurdles

This week Feb 10-comp.jpg

We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis coverage from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP

Exclusive: In-house want joint working groups to monitor EPO quality

A group of in-house counsel offered to form working groups with the EPO to monitor patent quality and improve examiner training, Managing IP revealed this week.

The offer is among a number of proposals made in a letter, seen by Managing IP, sent to the EPO by members of the Industry Patent Quality Charter on Wednesday, February 8.

Click here to read the full article.

InterDigital scores third SEP win in Lenovo fight

The England and Wales Court of Appeal reinstated an InterDigital-owned patent on appeal in a blow to Lenovo, yesterday, February 9.

The judgment overturned an earlier ruling by the High Court’s Mr Justice James Mellor, who found the InterDigital 3G patent invalid as obvious in January 2022.

According to Lord Justice Richard Arnold’s lead opinion, Mellor was “beguiled by a sleight of hand” in one of Lenovo’s arguments and accepted an incorrect claim interpretation.

Click here to read the full article.

UK IP reforms face House of Lords test

The UK government’s plan to repeal or reform at least 60 pieces of EU-era intellectual property laws by the end of this year faced its first real hurdle on Monday, February 6, after the House of Lords indicated it might seek changes.

The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill 2022 was subject to a second reading in the Lords, the upper chamber of the UK parliament. The debate lasted more than five hours, and a written transcript showed that some members were concerned about the bill’s provisions – including on IP rights.

Click here to read the full article.

IP minister moves on but questions remain over AI comments

UK intellectual property minister George Freeman has been moved to a newly created Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, it was confirmed on Wednesday, February 7, amid confusion over comments he made in Parliament last week.

The new department is expected to cover IP, though the exact nature of the brief had not been confirmed at the time of publication. Michelle Donelan will head the department as secretary of state while Freeman will continue in a junior ministerial position.

Meanwhile, Freeman has failed to clarify remarks he made in parliament on Wednesday, February 1, when the government announced it would not be pursuing part of the UKIPO’s artificial intelligence proposals.

Click here to read the full article.

Other articles published by Managing IP this week include:

Year in review: how Ukraine invasion changed IP in Russia

Behind the case: How TissueGen beat Boston Scientific

Counsel: ‘notorious’ IP markets reports state the obvious

Turkish lawyers: TM changes could ‘overwhelm’ courts

Monthly report: January 2023’s exclusive content

Data: Ups and downs of west Texas transfer motions

Pharma patentees toast EPO win but clinical trial risks remain

Elsewhere in IP

NFT win

A closely watched US trademark dispute centring on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has ended with a victory for fashion brand Hermès. Artist Mason Rothschild, who sold NFTs featuring digital depictions of Birkin handbags, has been ordered to pay $133,000. A jury at the District Court for the Southern District of New York handed down the verdict on Wednesday, February 8.

Sisvel growth

Mitsubishi has joined Huawei, Panasonic and Philips, as a licensor in Sisvel’s WiFi 6 patent pool, it was announced yesterday, February 9. The pool was founded in July 2022 and also includes Mediatek, SK Telecom, and Wilus. Sisvel CEO Mattia Fogliacco told Managing IP in an interview last December that the recruitment of Huawei to the scheme was one of the pool operator’s most important achievements last year.

IP police

A UK police operation that disrupts access to piracy websites prevented them from receiving £6 million ($7.2 million) in advertising revenue last year. Operation Creative was launched by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, part of the City of London Police, in 2013. The initiative places websites engaged in piracy on a list that is then shared with advertisers and agencies to ensure they do not advertise on them.

Lord of the Bins

This week also saw another case of David v Goliath trademark wars. A refuse firm in the UK called Lord of the Bins has been ordered to change its name by the rights owner for the Lord of the Rings franchise. The two-man waste collection business, based in Brighton, was contacted by Middle-earth Enterprises, which owns the worldwide rights to The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Supermarket wars

Tesco and Lidl started their trademark battle at the England and Wales High Court on Tuesday, February 7, over the use of a yellow circle logo. Lidl has said its trademark and copyright has been infringed.


Lastly, the International Bar Association (IBA) – the world’s biggest membership body for the legal industry – announced the creation of a Professional Wellbeing Commission on Monday, February 6. The permanent body will sit within the IBA and will be dedicated to improving the wellbeing of lawyers and legal professionals around the world.

That's it for today, see you again next week.

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