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Unitary patent package – Bits ‘n Bobs

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EU flagHere’s a selection of news snippets and musings related to the Unitary Patent System from the last week.

  • Members of IPcopy and Keltie LLP attended Browne Jacobson‘s annual IP seminar last week. One participant floated an interesting observation from the US (population: 314 million; states: 50) regarding the unitary patent system in Europe (EU population: 504 million; 27 member states). While we are worrying about bifurcation and central attack, it was noted that the US, which is much closer in size to the EU than to any particular member state, seems to be looking forward to a patent system that on the surface more closely resembles their own system (one large geographic area covering millions of people and “local divisions” in different states) than the current European set up. Are we setting up a system that will be more popular to people outside the EU than to those within?

  • Also from the Browne Jacobson seminar was a mention to the process of setting the number of local divisions in a particular country. Apparently the UK and Germany count their court actions in a different manner (crudely speaking a single UK action is likely to equate to multiple DE actions). Originally the UK assessment method suggested only a couple of local divisions may be allowable. However, once the assessment method is changed to the DE model then the UK could potentially host upto 4 local divisions. If you have any more details about this issue and the assessment methods then please let us know below.
  • Who will be first to ratify the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court? According to a tweet from Bristows and a follow up communication from @gibus, it seems that France are pulling out all the stops to be the first to ratify. More details can be found here (in French).
  • Will the Brussels I Regulation require significant amendment? A good article on the issues introduced by the transitional provisions in the UPC Agreement can be found on the Bristows website.
  • As previously mentioned, the coming into effect of the unitary patent system is likely to occur around the point at which the UK has its “in-out” referendum. A further comment from the Brown Jacobson seminar was that apparently the Law Society is compiling a report into the possible effects on the UK from a legal perspective of leaving the EU. If you know any more details about this then please let us know in the comments below.

Mark Richardson   12 June 2013

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