Court of Appeal rules on stays of patent proceedings

The Court of Appeal has given judgment in IPCom v HTC — a case concerning the validity of a European patent due to be heard in December 2013. HTC applied for a stay of the English validity proceedings pending the outcome of proceedings concerning the same European patent at the European Patent Office (EPO). Roth J at first instance refused HTC’s application, but granted permission to appeal. The Court of Appeal has upheld his decision. This is the first time that the Court of Appeal has ruled on such a stay application since the Supreme Court suggested in Virgin Atlantic v Zodiac that the guidelines set out by the Court of Appeal in Glaxo v Genentech should be considered again.

In the light of this decision, it is to be expected that the considerable duration of EPO proceedings will continue to point in favour of refusing a stay of English proceedings in most cases…

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