Two patent applications naming an artificial intelligence machine called DABUS as their inventor have prompted considerable debate about the role of AI in patent law around the world. This month, the High Court ruled on the admissibility of the UK applications following an appeal from the UK IPO. The judge affirmed that naming a machine as an inventor does not meet the requirements in the Patents Act.
In a patent case relating to standard-essential patents, Mr Justice Mann gave a judgment on jurisdictional issues and disclosure in a dispute between Philips and TCL. Rejecting an application to stay a FRAND trial scheduled for November in the light of a French court ruling, the decision drew on the recent Supreme Court judgment in Unwired Planet.
There have also been decisions on trade marks and copyright this month. In a case concerning bourbon whiskey, Mr Justice Fancourt found that AMERICAN EAGLE infringed the trade mark EAGLE RARE. At the IPEC, Judge Melissa Clarke ruled on a dispute concerning copyright in architectural drawings and models, awarding nominal damages of £1.
Three CJEU judgments are included this month. Footballer Lionel Messi was successful in a trade mark case concerning the registration of a figurative trade mark including his name, which was opposed by the proprietor of the MASSI trade mark, after the Court said the well-known fact of his reputation was a relevant factor. In another trade mark case, concerning a figurative trade mark including the word EDISON, the Court provided clarification on the list of goods and services following the IP TRANSLATOR case. Finally, the Court ruled on the entitlement of performers to equitable remuneration under the EU Directive on rental and lending rights, in a case referred from the Irish High Court.
While negotiations between the UK and EU on a free trade agreement continue, it is noteworthy that the government has published its National Data Strategy, which set out some general policy positions on data protection post-Brexit. The UK IPO has also published a consultation seeking views on trade mark filing strategies after the transition period ends.
The IP/IT Briefing is part of the Bloomsbury Law Online Service. The full briefing is available here.