Case No. O2020_08/15 | Main hearing of 1 April 2021
The main hearing in this matter earlier today was highly interesting.
In brief, Acme Corp. asserts infringement of a European patent by Globex Corp. The tricky thing is that the patent had already been cancelled from the register at the end of its 20y term more than two years(!) before the alleged infringement took place.
Globex Corp. essentially contends that the complaint is simply an impertinence. What no longer exists cannot be infringed. Hank Scorpio, the CEO of Globex Corp., shouted out:
Where would we be?
But it appears to be not that easy. Acme Corp. essentially argued that it has been cheated out of several years of patent term because the patent was granted only more than 15 years(!) after the filing date. In Acme’s view, this demands for a term adjustment to compensate for the delay during prosecution through no fault of their own. Such term adjustments are granted ex officio in the U.S., and Acme argued that this was only fair.
During a break, I had a quick chat with a person who prefers to not see his name on this Blog but who is knowledgeable of the current status of the draft of the forthcoming revision of the Swiss Patent Act; see this Blog here for further information on the draft bill. It appears that some wished for U.S.-style patent term adjustments (similar to 35 U.S.C. 154) during public consultation, which will indeed be included in the final draft of the revised Swiss Patent Act. Accordingly, I understand that we may see patents valid in Switzerland with terms reaching months, if not years beyond the 20y term. This is unprecedented in Europe, to the best of my knowledge!
Stay tuned for further details to be published soon. It may well be that the transitional provisions of the revised PatA turn out to be decisive for the case at hand. And others. Yours, maybe?
Reported by Martin WILMING
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