A niche blog dedicated to the issues that arise when supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) extend patents beyond their normal life -- and to the respective positions of patent owners, investors, competitors and consumers. The blog also addresses wider issues that may be of interest or use to those involved in the extension of patent rights. You can email The SPC Blog here

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

A chance to comment on the Yeda reference, but you'd better be quick

No time to cook the turkey and eat it if you're planning
to comment to the UK IPO on Case C-518/10
In October of this year the Court of Appeal for England and Wales sought a preliminary ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union in Case C-518/10 Yeda Research and Development Company and Aventis Holdings (see earlier note on The SPC Blog here). Essentially, what the Court of Appeal wanted to know, taking into account Article 3(a) of Regulation 469/2009, Article 26 of the Community Patent Convention and s.S60(2) of the UK Patents Act 1977, was whether the criteria for determining that a product is “protected by a basic patent in force” includes whether a supply of a product would infringe the basic patent by way of indirect or contributory infringement based on Article 26 of the Community Patent Convention (implemented by S60(2) of the Patents Act).

The UK's Intellectual Property Office has just issued an email circular today, stating:
"If you would like to comment on this case please e-mail policy@ipo.gsi.gov.uk before 6 January 2010 [presumably this should be 2011]".
Given that the IPO must have known about this reference since October, and given that much of the UK is closed for business for most of the time between now and 6 January 2011, does anyone know why this invitation has been issued so late?  If it's any consolation, the IPO routinely gives interested parties only a few days' notice of the deadline for commenting on references to the Court of Justice.

The deadline for the receipt of observations by the Court of Justice itself is believed to be 25 February 2011.

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