Category : French Patent Litigation

Part of any smart patent litigation strategy is to seek the right venue. This is true for Europe as well as for the US. Among practitioners it is known that Texas is a preferred venue for patent litigation in the US, as the judges are assumed to be patentee friendly and, important, not inclined to immediately bow to defendant’s strategies to unduly complicate and manipulate litigation by throwing in  litigation tactics with the (sole) intention to complicate the litigation, so as to gain time and to force the plaintiff to be “outlawyered”.  A preferred venue for NPE’s. Read more

Author: 8 years ago

Is “independent invention” a cure against trolls in that it can be argued that infringement cannot be established in case of an “independent invention”? No it is not. A  lot of confusion, misunderstandings, half-truths, nonsensical quasi-lawerly talk exists around the term “independent invention“. The term is often “spittered” about as means against patent infringement actions by NPEs or patent trolls, but has no basis in patent law and lacks a common understanding and agreement on what it means as it is often used in a nonsensical way. Read more

Author: 8 years ago

The rumor goes that France is due to make a sea change shift towards supporting the EPLA, an initiative to harmonize the way patents are being litigated in Europe. The French Research Minister (heading the French Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche”) Valérie Pecresse, has sent a letter (or is about to do so) to her German counterpart, expressing the French support for EPLA. We have not been able to find any confirmation or hard evidence for this rumor from anyone yet, nor from the French delegates to the AIPPI ExCO meeting currently taking place in Singapore. They do agree though, that such a letter would implicate a sea change in the position of France, who has been the most vocal of antis against the EPLA proposal. One wonders whether the French Minister – in indeed she sent the letter, or is about to do so – could do this without the backing of Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President (not if you are fond of your job as a French Minister, we imagine).The support would not only be for EPLA, but also for the London Agreement. The London Agreement was concluded in London on 17 October 2000 with the aim of creating a cost attractive post-grant translation regime for European patents. It is the fruit of the work on reducing European patent costs, which was set in motion at the Intergovernmental Conference held in France in June 1999.EPLA has been on a bumpy road so far. McCreevy, the EU’s internal market commissioner, told the Financial Times in 2006 that “anything remotely concerning this patent area is fraught with minefields at every turn of the road”. He said the failure to secure backing from national governments made him “pessimistic” about the prospect of making progress on the issue. Should pessimism now turn euphoric? Not yet, I am afraid. Let us see what the position of France, the major non voter so far, is. Does Sarkozy now lets his influence count on this subject as well?Anyone in the position to (if necessary namelessly) confirm or deny this rumor? Please reply to this blog (below, push the envelope).other IPEG blogs on EPLA: see and the column on the right of this blog, called “EPLA – everything you always wanted to know but was unable to find

Author: 11 years ago
France’s Constitutional Council is due to rule on the constitutionality of the London Agreement by the end of next week. Ratification by France is the chief remaining obstacle stopping the London Agreement coming into force. The London Agreementis about translations of patents in Europe and is drafted as a Protocol on the European Patent Convention. It has been signed by 10 countries to date. To enter into force, at least 8 countries must ratify it including France, Germany and the United Kingdom. The current situation in Europe is that after the grant of a European patent, each country for which protection is sought requires translation of the full text of the patent into its national language.

For an average European patent , the patent owner thus pays an estimated € 11, 520 for translations, even though in the majority of cases the translations are never consulted. Under the London Agreement, the states would entirely or partly give up their right to a translation:
· in countries having English, German or French as an official language, no translation is required
· countries where English, German or French is not an official language would only require a translation of the claims in the national language; a translation of the description will only be required if it is not available in an EPO official language prescribed by the country concerned.
· a full translation may be required in case of litigation before the courts.
The savings to patent holders will depend on the number of countries which eventually participate, but it is expected that translation costs can be reduced by 50% if 12 countries join. The London Agreement would make therefore patent protection in Europe much cheaper. Seventy-six French parliamentarians voted to ask the Council to rule on the Agreement on September 2. The Council consists of nine appointed members and Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, who, as a former president, is entitled to sit on the constitutional body. Its job is to decide whether new legislation complies with the country’s 1958 Constitution. The Council can only rule if an application is referred to it before a new law is signed by the president. Such applications are normally filed by the parliamentary opposition where it believes that civil rights are at risk.
If implemented, the London Agreement would reduce translation requirements for European patents by allowing member states to opt-out of requiring a translation into their national language.
If the Council rules that the Agreement complies with the Constitution, the country’s parliament and President Chirac will be able to proceed with the ratification process. However it is doubtful whether there will be ratification ahead of the presidential election in 2007.
“Average European patent” means a patent covering 8 countries for 10 years, other costs include procedural fees to be paid to the European Patent Office (Euro 4300), patent attorneys fees (Euro 5500) and national maintenance fees (Euro 8900).
Author: 12 years ago