A couple of unitary patent news updates courtesy of Nick Cunningham and Michael Carter at Wragge & Co. relating to the signing of the Nordic Baltic regional division of the Unified Patent Court and the approval of the amendments to the Brussels I regulation.
Nordic-Baltic Regional Division
The Nordic-Baltic regional division of the Unified Patent Court was established on 4 March in the margins of the Justice and Home Affairs Council focused on justice in Brussels. This is the first agreement on a regional division of the UPC which, as we reported earlier, includes Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Commissioner Barnier said:
I welcome today’s agreement by Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia on the creation of a regional division of the Unified Patent Court (UPC). I am very pleased to see those countries taking the lead in setting up local and regional divisions of the Court. The creation of a regional division will allow resources to be pooled most effectively while providing the necessary proximity to the parties.
Today’s announcement demonstrates the determination of the signatory states to make the Unified Patent Court and the unitary patent a success and a reality for our innovators and businesses as soon as possible.
I hope that others will soon follow this example. I take this opportunity to call on all Member States to ratify the UPC Agreement without further delay.
The press release can be found here. Of course, a press release is not the same as being there so we also have the video of the signing ceremony so you can relive the moment again and again.
Three of the signatories to the unified patent court agreement appear to have ratified the agreement (Austria, Malta and France) but it now looks like we can, in due course, expect Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to ratify.
Michael also noted that Denmark and Finland didn’t apparently want to join in with this regional division because they wanted to be able to conduct proceedings in their own language (the regional division will be conducted in English only and located in Stockholm according to the agreement). The referendum takes place on 25 May in Denmark.
Brussels I Regulation
It looks like the amendments to the Brussels Regulation have been also been approved by Ministers in the Council with the endorsement of the “compromise agreement on the European Commission’s proposal to complete the legal framework for Europe-wide patent protection, updating existing EU rules on the jurisdiction of courts and recognition of judgments (IP/13/750)”. The next step for the Brussels I regulation will be a vote by the European Parliament which is due by April this year. Press release here. IPcopy on the Brussels I amendments here and here.
Mark Richardson 6 March 2014