Monday, 23 November 2015

Mock trial under UPC 18th draft Rules: this will take some pluck ...

EPLIT, the European Patent Litigation Association, is running a mock trial under the recently-published 18th draft of the Rules of Procedures for the Unified Patent Court. The details look like this:
On 22 January 2016, EPLIT will run a mock-trial under the 18th draft of the Rules of Procedure for the Unified Patent Court (UPC). The case to be tried is between Improver Corporation and Remington Consumer Products and concerns a depilatory device, better known as the "Epilady" case. This case was litigated in the late 1980s and early 1990s before various national courts in Europe with drastically different outcomes. For that reason it serves as a reminder of why further harmonization of patent litigation in Europe is a worthy cause. The mock-trial will be staged before the Local Division of the UPC in Munich.

The original Epilady
The panel of judges will consist of Prof Haedicke (Oberlandesgericht in Düsseldorf), Mr Zigann (Landgericht in Munich) and Mr Van Walderveen (District Court in The Hague). The panel has been extended with a technical judge, Mr Klein (formerly of the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office). The patent proprietor (Improver) will be represented by Rainer Beetz (Sonn and Partner, AT) and Leythem Wall (Finnegan Europe LLP, GB). The alleged infringing party (Remington) will be represented by Marek Lazewski (Lazewski Depo and Partners, PL) and Jan Stein (Ipracraft AB, SE).

The day will begin with a case management conference (CMC) in the morning, and the afternoon will comprise of the oral hearing. This will be followed by a questions and answers session for the audience.

The event will take place in the Sofitel Bayerpost, Bayerstrasse 12, Munich.

The admission fee is EUR 395 for EPLIT members and EUR 495 for non-EPLIT members. This will include lunch, as well as coffee and other refreshments and snacks throughout the day, and a drinks reception after the proceedings have con­cluded.
Application form here. Please email it to the EPLIT Secretariat here.

1 comment:

Roufousse T. Fairfly said...

The Epilady case was still fresh in the days when I received my examiner's basic training, and was a part of the material studied.

One of the prior art documents which was apparently adduced in at least one of the validity cases was a US patent describing a power tool for skinning hogs on the disassembly line.

It associated an endless spring and a rotating blade. The spring grabbed the hair on outer face of the skin, and stabilised the tool in the proper position for the blade to do its work.

If I remember correctly, the figures certainly met the wording of the claims, if it weren't for that pesky word "for", in the preamble, which we were told was to be read as "suitable for".

Epilation had to occur, even though it wasn't necessarily the result sought.

Then there was a long debate as to whether the person skilled in human grooming would have knowledge of developments in the meat packing packing industry, or be led to consult an expert in that field.

I should have packed up just there and then and run away before it was too late...

In the end, it seems that the Epilady wasn't such a huge success after all, as it about as painful as beeswax. One of these devices was passed around us rookies for a demonstration, and OUCH!

Will it also be demonstrated at the mock trial?