Change of practice regarding anonymization

No, it is not that I am going to change my practice regarding de-anonmyization. Rather, the FPC changed its practice as of June 1, 2018:

Judgments in ordinary proceedings had typically not been anonymized anyway, but final decisions in summary proceedings had only been published in anonymized form by now. Those days are gone. The FPC will now publish all final decisions in full and non-anonymized form, also in summary proceedings — unless anonymization is warranted by a public interest or requested by a party and deemed justified for the protection of private interests.

Decisions granting or denying legal aid are always anonymized if published.

Reported by Martin WILMING

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Restored from breakdown

My Blog was broken in the morning, after a bunch of updates 🙁

The good news is: No content is lost, restoring from backup worked almost perfectly — besides various styling issues.

You know what? A perfect chance to switch the whole Blog to a more modern layout. Almost finished now, will sort out minor bugs on the fly.

What do you think? Any feedback highly appreciated!

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There is so much information around. But one can spend ages with searching.

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Regards,
Martin WILMING

Ad hoc news via Twitter

@FPCreviewSometimes it takes me a while to draft a meaningful and reasonably investigated post; I am not going to spoil this Blog with half-baked stuff. On the other hand, I’d like to share information that is readily available as soon as possible. I will use Twitter (@FPCReview) from now on to share such advance information.

Starting off right now (if you haven’t seen the tweet already):

Revised Guidelines effective as of 1 January 2016

The Guidelines on Proceedings before the FPC are upon to change with effect as of 1 January 2016. The FPC currently provides English translations of both the old and the new Guidelines: see Guidelines effective until 31 December 2015 and Guidelines effective as of 1 January 2016.

I have compiled a tracked-changes version to spot the changes:

Download (PDF, 199KB)

Apparently, only Art. 7 is concerned. It is now clarified that the terms refer to main proceedings. Moreover, it is made clear that terms of six weeks are granted for submission of the defence to a claim or a counter-claim, and that a term of four weeks is granted for “further submissions” (e.g. reply and rejoinder). In my perception, this is inline with current practice.

Reported by Martin WILMING

The independence of judges — and how to check it

Having briefly commented on the revised Guidelines on Independence only yesterday, I have now taken note of some further amendments on the website of the FPC; please see the screenshot below:

Website FPC, screenshot of 06 January 2014

First, the companies for which the judges work (besides their assignment at the FPC) are now explicitly indicated for each and every judge. Since Art. 4 of the revised Guidelines now extends to these companies, parties are enabled to more easily investigate the independence of the judges. In order to further enable parties to do such checks, the FPC has compiled a leaflet on how to use official patent, trademark and design databases (embedded hereinbelow). This leaflet is accessible via a link atop the list of judges (see above screenshot).

Download (PDF, 31KB)

Reported by Martin WILMING

Revised Guidelines on Independence effective as of 1 January 2015

As already indicated earlier, the decision 4A_142/2013 of the Supreme Court prompted changes to the Guidelines on Independence. The new Guidelines have been published recently and are effective as of 01 January 2015.

Please find below a tracked-changes version that I have compiled based on the English translations of the former Guidelines and the revised Guidelines. Note that these English translations are provided by the FPC for information purposes only; they have no legal force. Anyhow, besides some editorial amendments, you will readily note the — in my personal opinion — most important changes:

  • Expectedly, Art. 4 now also extends to the company for which the court member works.
  • Art. 5 has been deleted. Former Art. 5 held that purely administrative activities for achieving or maintaining the validity of the Swiss part of a European patent of one of the parties (not the patent in dispute) was not deemed to constitute a ground for recusal. Now, such activities are included in the list of special grounds for recusal (see Art. 4, lit. g).

It will be interesting to see how the FPC will actually apply these revised Guidelines — and how they stand the test of daily grind.

Download (PDF, 204KB)

I have also compiled a tracked-changes version based on the official German versions of the former and the revised Guidelines:

Download (PDF, 205KB)

Martin Wilming