In an important trade mark judgment (Sky v SkyKick), the Court of Appeal reversed the first instance finding that Sky’s trade marks for SKY were partially invalid due to lack of intention to use amounting to bad faith. In doing so, the Court set out principles on bad faith invalidity that are more favourable to trade mark owners.
The Court of Appeal has also made decisions in two patent cases. It maintained the first instance finding of invalidity in a case over a pneumococcal vaccine (Wyeth v Merck). In AutoStore v Ocado, the Court upheld a ruling that information from discussions between the parties held in London could be deployed in litigation in the US – although the three judges were divided on the issue.
Questions about disclosure were also under scrutiny in the Patents Court. In the latest wrangle in the Optis v Apple litigation, Marcus Smith J declined the latter’s request for disclosure of a confidential licence agreement to its experts and an anonymity order.
Other recent decisions from the Patents Court saw the invalidation of patents for insulin pumps (Insulet v Roche), a voice recognition system (Promptu Systems v Sky) and heat-not-burn cigarettes (Nicoventures v Philip Morris).
In a sequel to last month’s Court of Appeal judgment in Geofabrics v Fiberweb, Sir Anthony Mann qualified the scope of the injunction granted.
There was also a decision concerning designs, in which Deputy High Court Judge David Stone found that two outdoor light fittings infringed infringed registered design rights (Lutec v Cascade).
Beyond the UK, there were two notable patent developments. The German Federal Constitutional Court rejected challenges to the country’s ratification of the UPC Agreement, paving the way for the launch of the new system in 2022. And the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal published an order ruling that oral proceedings before the Boards of Appeal can be held by videoconference even without the consent of the parties during a general emergency.
The IP/IT Briefing is part of the Bloomsbury Law Online Service. The full briefing is available here.