Search News and Articles
Legal Developments Worldwide
- United Arab Emirates
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong
- Cayman Islands
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Saudi Arabia
- British Virgin Islands
Articles contributed by Hertin Anwaltssozietät
Further to the Myriad decision from the United States (see part 1 of this blog), a European Court of Justice (ECJ) decision from July 2010 demonstrates another potentially significant setback to the validity and enforceability of patents directed to DNA sequences.
2010 may turn out to be a challenging year for applicants and attorneys in the field of biotech patents, especially when it comes to protecting or enforcing existing rights over your favourite stretch of DNA. Recent legal decisions on the patentability and enforceability of biotech patents have produced significant uncertainty regarding what kind of protection remains for product and method claims directed towards DNA sequences.
Considering the remaining gap between the number of applications and granted patents at the European patent office (EPO)(see here), solutions are required in order to reduce burden and enhance examination efficiency for the large number of pending applications.
The administrative council of the European Patent Organisation enacted important changes to the European Patent Convention in March this year. These changes serve the pursuit of the so-called ‘raising the bar’ project of the European Patent Office. This project seeks to improve both the quality and legal certainty during the granting of a European patent. However, it cannot be overlooked that significant numbers of changes are disadvantageous for the applicant. In the future we will endeavour to provide you with recommendations in regards to how you can minimize potentially disadvantageous outcomes.
Again, shortly after the last major reform of the German Copyright Act in 2003, several aspects of the law have been adopted to European legisla-tion, especially EU Directive 2004/48/EC on the Enforcement of Intellec-tual Property Rights ("Enforcement Directive"). The new law became ef-fective Sept. 1, 2008.