MECHANICAL & OTHER TECHNOLOGIES
Patent protection in the mechanical area requires us to know how the parts fit together and interact. We love the physical involvement that comes with mechanical inventions, whether medical devices, road safety equipment or optional extras for motor vehicles.
On our display shelf in our offices there are various examples of devices that we have protected for our clients with various types of IP. Some are mechanically simpler, like the hairdresser’s dye pot or the aluminium-coated ampoules. Others are too large to get into the building – one construction client makes stadia spanning hundreds of metres. In the materials sector our clients have coatings technology that is most likely inside most of the electrical devices you own.
For all our clients, we get to the bottom of the crucial connections and components that are at the heart of the invention to be protected.
Read the latest insights from the Schlich team reporting recent cases relevant to the mechanical sector and other technologies.
Free speech prevails in Lite-Netics, LLC v. Nu Tsai Capital LLC, d/b/a Holiday Bright Lights
Lite-Netics, LLC ‘Lite-Netics’ and Nu Tsai Capital LLC, d/b/a Holiday Bright Lights ‘HBL’ sell string lights primarily for use in decorating buildings during the holiday season. Lite-Netics brought an infringement action against HBL before the District Court of Nebraska with respect to two US patents. It also sent notices to some of its customers, also customers of HBL, asserting infringement and its intent to enforce its rights. HBL filed counterclaims, including for state-law torts, and requested a temporary restraining order (TRO) and subsequent preliminary injunction to prevent Lite-Netics making accusations with respect to patent infringement. The District Court granted both the TRO and subsequent preliminary injunction but on appeal the Federal Circuit found that the District Court abused its discretion in issuing the preliminary injunction because the bar to stopping free speech was clearly not met.
Legal Board of Appeal confirms an AI cannot be the inventor of a patent
The Legal Board of Appeal has confirmed that an AI system cannot be the inventor of a patent application at the EPO, agreeing with the decision of the Receiving Section (reported by us in our article of February 2020).
UK Court of Appeal Confirms that AI Cannot Be An Inventor
Background Dr Thaler filed two UK patent applications and subsequently filed Form 7’s stating that the inventor for both applications was the AI system “DABUS”. Dr Thaler also indicated on the Form 7’s that he had acquired the right to be granted the patents “by ownership of the creativity machine ‘DABUS'”. The UKIPO responded stating […]
The Territoriality Issue – Promptu Systems Corporation V Sky UK Limited
Overview An infringement action brought by Promptu against Sky was dismissed by the High Court, based on patent invalidity (lack of inventive step). Promptu alleged that the voice control functionality in the Sky Q television service infringed its European Patent (UK) No. 1,290,889. Sky denied infringement based on (1) claim construction and (2) that certain […]
AI Inventors – Updates from Australia and South Africa
Background Dr Stephen Thaller filed a number of patent applications in various jurisdictions for an AI-invented invention. As the invention was conceived by an artificial intelligence system, DABUS, Dr Thaller named DABUS as the inventor on the patent applications. To date, the applications have been refused in numerous jursidictions including the UK and the US, […]
Keeping Your Invention Secret – Public Use in a Private Field
Background The present case relates to two patents owned by Claydon Yield-O-Meter Limited (Claydon) relating to a seed drill to be attached to a tractor. Claydon alleged that these patents were infringed by Mzuri Limited. Mzuri counterclaimed for revocation on the ground that the patent was invalid based on an earlier public use by the […]
EPO Board of Appeal Overturns Opposition Division’s Finding of Fact
Previous Case Law It has previously been well-established that the EPO Boards of Appeal should not generally overturn findings of fact made by first instance examination or opposition decisions. EPO Decision T 1418/17 set out a limited number of circumstances in which a Board of Appeal should revoke the evidence assessment of a first instance […]
EPO Casts Light on Opponents’ Masked Clarity Attacks
EPO Decision T1285/15 relates to an appeal from an Opposition Decision to maintain (in amended form) European Patent No. EP1567358 owned by De La Rue International Limited. The patent relates to security devices, for example those used to verify the authenticity of documents. The security device comprises two different materials which appear to have the […]
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