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Prof. Sikorski’s latest paper: IPRED needs targeted reforms to strengthen the principle of proportionality in patent litigation

There is broad agreement on the need for taking proportionality considerations into account in patent litigation cases but it’s not being applied in the courts in Europe. As a result, injunctions are being handed out automatically in almost all cases, even though EU legislation – the IP Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED) – specifically calls for judges to apply proportionality. IPRED needs targeted amendments in order to correct this. In his paper titled Permanent Injunctions and the Reception of the Principle of Proportionality in the European Union, Rafal Sikorski, assistant professor, Chair of European Law at the Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan in Poland, calls for reform of the directive. “The EU should consider introducing a set of factors to IPRED that the courts should consider when applying proportionality. In fact, this approach has already been taken by the EU legislator in the Trade Secrets Directive,” Professor Sikorski said in an interview.
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IP2I Recommendations for Improvements to the Public Availability of Information on Proceedings before the UPC

IP2I appreciates the improvements made to date to improve the availability of information on proceedings before the Unified Patent Court. To achieve its full potential for transparency and permit a better understanding of legal developments and trends, IP2I recommends that continued improvements focus on providing more robust searchability for information, and reducing the delay associated with making information available to the public.
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More work needed to improve public access to UPC patent case documents

Last month a law firm submitted a request for documents under rule 262.1 (b) of the UPC Rules of Procedure, which ensures that written pleadings and evidence in patent litigation proceedings are available to the public “upon reasoned request.” The firm is calling on the central division of the Unified Patent Court in Munich to make available all written pleadings and evidence for a pending case in the court. The aim of the law firm, Mathys & Squire, is to establish a clear and consistent path for the public to access these documents in the future. IP2Innovate fully supports this initiative. We have been campaigning for more transparency in patent litigation for many years, and welcomed the improvement to the status quo that the UPC’s rules promised.
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Professors Hofmann and Raue: Taking proportionality seriously in the Unified Patent Court

Two German law professors, Dr Franz Hofmann and Dr Benjamin Raue have pooled forces to publish a joint paper this week on the delicate issue of injunctions and damages for the infringement of patents. The paper, entitled ‘Injunctions and Damages for the Infringement of Patents under the UPCA; an Analysis in the Light of the Principle of Proportionality’ calls for a more nuanced approach to patent infringement cases, and it urges judges of the recently launched UPC to consider damages instead of automatic injunctions as a remedy in their rulings.
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IP2I calls on European Commission to protect Europe’s patent system from abuse

A new academic study by economists at the universities of Bordeaux, Grenoble, and Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona) highlights how patent assertion entities (PAEs) are continuing to take advantage of weaknesses in Europe’s patent system. The study, entitled Patent Privateering, looks at one specific method of patent abuse. Patent privateering is a term to describe a situation where a patent owner hands patents to a patent assertion entity (PAE) to exploit for mutual benefit, allowing the patent owner to maintain a secret stake in the patents. The study concluded that patent privateering is widespread in Europe. The practise has been around for many years but as other jurisdictions including the US have made it harder, Europe’s patent system is a ripe target for abuse. This is largely because patent courts in Europe do not apply the principle of proportionality, and instead hand out injunctions to patent owners almost automatically.
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Professor Ohly’s two passions: patent law and clarinet

Professor Ansgar Ohly is one of Germany’s most respected law professors and an authority on intellectual property law across Europe. He is the Chair for Civil Law, Intellectual Property and Competition Law at the University of Munich. He is also a visiting professor at Oxford University.
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Prof. Alain Strowel: IP law professor with a grounding in philosophy

Professor Alain Strowel’s academic curiosity was first sparked by philosophy. At 18 he went to the universities he would later work for as a law professor, the Université Saint-Louis in Brussels and the UCLouvain.

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