Last month the European Patent Office (EPO) and the China’s State Intellectual Property Office (Sipo) have celebrated their 30th anniversary of bilateral collaboration. Such a cooperation is supported not only by the technical and informational interchange between the two organizations, but also in terms of patent and patent application registration. Where total filings of Chinese enterprises at EPO have been increased in the period 2010-2014 with an annual rate of growth estimated at about 20% (taking into consideration that the total filings of all countries at EPO have been increased in the same period of about 3.7%), the number of filing per year on behalf of Italian enterprises at Sipo has been increased in the same period of about 4.8%. These considerations demonstrate a constantly-rising economical collaboration between the two countries.
On october 30, Mr. Rinaldo Ferreccio, partner of Botti & Ferrari, will participate as a speaker at the conference entitled “Europe and innovative Companies: European developments in the Law of technological innovation” which will take place at the University of Parma. The conference will focus mainly on issues relating to the unitary patent, the European case law on the SPC, EPC 2000 limitation proceedings, national rights and the possible reforms of the regulations on know-how. In his speech, Mr. Ferreccio will outline the recent developments in Europe and in the US on dosages, sub-ranges and methods of administration.
The German Federal Supreme Court, Court of last instance in the ordinary justice system in Germany, has established, upholding the judgment of appeal, that the chocolate bears-shaped product marketed by Lindt do not constitute infringements of gummy candies, also bear-shaped, produced by Haribo. The subject of the dispute, which began in 2012 is the chocolate bear-shaped “Lindt Teddy” marketed by Lindt, which according to Haribo, was too similar to the famous gummy bears produced by the latter, and therefore able to determine confusion among consumers. The first judjement was in favor of Haribo, while on appeal the Court has found that the similarities between the two products were not likely able to confuse consumers. This assessment has been confirmed by the German Federal Court, which has dismissed the appeal of Haribo.
Italy has joined the Unitary Patent and has become the 26th state of the European Union that has joined the enhanced cooperation for the creation of a Unitary Patent. With Italy’s entry, the EU Patent will become “even more attractive” for companies and inventors, as it has been reported in an Official statement of the European Commission. However, at present, the participating EU member states that have ratified the agreement are only 8 (Austria, France, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Malta, Luxembourg and Portugal). The sole EU countries that currently do not participate to the Unitary Patent are Spain and Croatia.
It is well-known that the Italian University system is permanently looking for funds and, consequently, the R&S expenditure of Italian public sector is dramatically low. Nevertheless, from 2005 to 2012 Italian Universities have filed a constantly growing number of patents, which amounts to about 3000 filings per year (2013).
On July 29, 2015, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development has issued a press release announcing the signing of the decree for the implementation of the so-called ‘Patent Box’. This measure will allow a preferential taxation on incomes arising from patents and trademarks; it is planned, in fact, a deduction equal to 30% in 2015, to 40% in 2016 and 50% in 2017. Shortly, it will also be published in the Official Gazette the decree implementing the tax credit on the costs of research and development. The benefit will be available to all companies, regardless of their turnover and of their legal form, the economic sector in which they operate or the accounting regime adopted.
Following that, on July 2, 2015, Italy has announced its will to join the European Unitary Patent, it is today news that Milan, supported by the Government, is running to host the national section of the European Court of Patents. In the coming day Italy and the unified EU Court will work together to define all the issues in preparation for setting up the local branch of the European Court of Patent and, to that extent, it does not currently seem to be any obstacles .
The international consulting patents Patent 1000-Intellectual Asset Management has confirmed also for 2015 the Botti & Ferrari firm among the best Italian consulting firms in the field of intellectual property. Botti & Ferrari was in fact considered an important local and international reality, able to offer its services with high professional standards and quality. Additionally, there were reported as particularly deserving, the profiles of Mario Botti and Rinaldo Ferreccio, members of B&F with many years of experience in the field.
In September 2014, the Federal Court of Australia decided that isolated genes indicating susceptibility to breast cancer are patentable subject matter, rejecting an appeal to the decision led by cancer patient Yvonne D’Arcy. Their decision in D’Arcy vs. Myriad Genetics Inc is in strong contrast to the decision reached by the US Supreme Court in a dispute over the same genes. On June 13, 2013 the Supreme Court in the US ruled that a naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated. In this context, on December 16, 2014 USPTO issued the 2014 Interim Guidance for USPTO personnel to use when determining subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. 101 in view of recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court, including Alice Corp., Myriad, and Mayo. These guidelines reflect significance changes from the previous March 2014 Guidance. Yvonne D’Arcy has now taken the case to the High Court, which will decide whether to uphold the Federal Court’s decision.
The EU Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights has recently published the results of a survey based on official financial data retrieved from over 2.3 million European firms and with the purpose to quantify the contribution of Intellectual Property to the firms economic growth. Such an economic analysis has shown that, on the one hand, only a small part of European SMEs holds Intellectual Property Rights (9% compared with nearly 40% of big Companies). However, in contrast those SMEs investing in Intellectual Property produce revenues per employee to a greater extent then the others by nearly 32%, making clear, data in hand, the important contribution of Intellectual Property for the economic growth of firms. Moreover, the results of the research at issue should be read together with those of a previous analysis of 2013 conducted by the Observatory. On that occasion, it was found that about 40% of total economic activity of the EU and about 35% of jobs in the EU come directly or indirectly from Companies whose use rights Intellectual Property is above the average.