Bloomsbury IP/IT Law Briefing: January Teaser

This month’s briefing includes discussion of the eagerly awaited CJEU judgment in Sky v SkyKick, published on 29 January. This case, referred from the High Court, concerned the attempt to invalidate five of Sky’s trade marks and there was some concern that it could put many registered EU marks in peril. However, the judgment provides some reassurance for trade mark owners.

Both the EPO and UK IPO have published their reasons for refusing patent applications that designated an artificial intelligence as the inventor. The decisions suggest that under the existing law an inventor must be a human person. Meanwhile, an EPO Board of Appeal has upheld the revocation of a patent relating to CRISPR gene editing technology, which was applied for by The Broad Institute.

In the UK courts, Mr Justice Birss handed down the latest decision in the litigation between Conversant and Huawei/ZTE. He found certain claims of two patents to be valid and essential to the LTE standard, which will lead to a FRAND trial later this year.

Jurisdiction continues to be tested before the courts. In a trade mark case brought by easyGroup against a Colombian airline, Mr Justice Nugee set aside an earlier order because of a failure to make a full, frank and fair disclosure and suggested the parties ‘start again’. In a copyright case brought against Google concerning photographs posted online, HHJ Keyser upheld a decision that the UK courts did not have jurisdiction.

Following the passage of the Withdrawal Agreement Act 2020, Brexit will take place on 31 January at 11.00 pm and the UK will embark on an 11-month implementation period. Both EUIPO and the UK IPO have set out the implications of this for registered trade mark and design rights, and other IP issues. The UK has also said that it will not implement the DSM Directive.

The IP/IT Briefing is part of the Bloomsbury Law Online Service. The full briefing is available here.

Written by James Nurton

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