A brief wrap-up of the 2017 INGRES conference

The annual INGRES conference took place yesterday, July 5. It is a good tradition that the most relevant patent-related decisions are summarized by an attorney-at-law and a patent attorney. Just in case you missed the event (you shouldn’t, not only because of the famous boat trip on lake Zurich!):

Cyrill RIEDER presented the cases

Claudia BIBUS focused on the Doctrine of Equivalents and expanded on the decisions

  • ‘Urinalventil’ (4A_131/2016 of the Supreme Court); and
  • ‘Pemetrexed’ (O2015_004 of the FPC).

The latter decision could not be discussed on the merits; an appeal is currently pending at the Supreme Court.

Dieter BRÄNDLE, the President of the FPC, presented a very helpful overview of the time limits which are generally set by the FPC for the various procedural steps, including the potenial term extensions. In brief:

Procedural stepMain proceedingsSummary proceedings
advance payment / security obligation2w + 1w1w + 1w
statement of defense / answer to counterclaim6w + 2w2w + 1-2w
answer to counterclaim and reply6w + 2w2w + 1-2w
reply / rejoinder4w + 2w2w + 1-2w
rejoinder and reply to counterclaim4w + 2w2w + 1-2w
rejoinder to counterclaim incl. comments on new factual allegations in rejoinder4w + 2w2w + 1w
limited reply4w + 2w2w + 1w
comments on new factual allegations in the rejoinder2w + 1w1w + 1w
comments on submission with new factual allegations2w + 1w1w + 1w
comments on expert opinion of the judge-rapporteur4w + 2w2w + 1w
comments on procedural motions2w + 1w1w + 1w
comments on security obligations2w + 1w1w + 1w
comments on cost issues1w + 1w1w + 1w
unconditional right to reply10d1w

The overview of time limits will also be made available on the website of the FPC in due course.

Dieter BRÄNDLE also made clear that certain party submissions are just unwanted, ie those which contravene the court’s intention to have an equal number of party submissions per issue on file before the instructional hearing (see eg O2016_012 and O2012_039). Beware: Even a fine for the respective attorney was mentioned in case of non-compliance.

Decision O2016_016 was briefly discussed.

Finally, Dieter BRÄNDLE expanded on dos and don’ts for offers of evidence.  The court won’t search for proper evidence somewhere in the docket when it is merely referred to proof ‘mentioned elsewhere herein’ or the like. Evidence should be properly identified where it is relied on. And it does not make much sense to ‘reserve the right to submit further evidence’: A party either has the right to do so by law (then the statement is not necessary), or the exchange of party submissions is already finished. In the latter case, there is no right to be reserved and the statement is useless.

Reported by Martin WILMING


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