Bloomsbury IP/IT Law Briefing: July Teaser

The Court of Appeal ruling in E Mishan & Sons, Inc v Hozelock Ltd & Ors [2020] EWCA Civ 871 was notable in that the two patent specialist judges on the panel came to opposite conclusions on obviousness. The case involved two patents for an expandable garden hose, and the question of whether the invention was obvious over close prior art from a different field.

In the High Court, there were two interesting patent judgments. Lufthansa Technik AG v Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems & Anor [2020] EWHC 1968 (Pat) concerned a patent for an invention for a voltage supply apparatus for providing a supply voltage for electric devices in an aeroplane cabin: the patent was found valid and infringed. Lenovo (Singapore) PTE Ltd v Comptroller General of Patents [2020] EWHC 1706 (Pat) was an appeal from the UK IPO concerning the rejection of a patent application for an invention for ‘selecting a contactless payment card’ on the basis that it related to a computer program or a business method as such. Mr Justice Birss allowed the appeal.

There was also a decision on trade mark infringement and passing off from IPEC (British Amateur Gymnastics Association v UK Gymnastics Ltd & Ors [2020] EWHC 1678 (IPEC)) and several rulings on remedies and procedural issues. These were: a ruling on damages in a dispute over the supply of source code; an application to fix a trial date in a case in the Shorter Trials Scheme; the granting of permission to appeal in the SkyKick case; and an application to stay proceedings in a copyright dispute between PRS Ltd and Qatar Airways.

The CJEU published one judgment and two Advocate General Opinions in copyright cases during July. The judgment concerned the information that could be obtained from YouTube under the Enforcement Directive regarding users who upload copyright-infringing material (Constantin Film Verleih GmbH v YouTube LLC and Google Inc). The two Opinions involved blocking measures in cases of unauthorised uploads (YouTube) and which performers and producers can benefit from the right to equitable remuneration under the Rental Rights Directive (Recorded Artists Actors Performers).

There have been various developments relating to Brexit, including the formal withdrawal of the UK from the UPC Agreement, an update from WIPO on issues regarding the Madrid System, the UK government’s position on the SPC waiver, and a call for views on changes to the Address for Service rules. Finally, COVID-19 continues to have an impact on IP practice as the UK IPO has temporarily reduced or removed certain fees.

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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