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Unitary Patent: News Nuggets (ERA Conference – December 2014)

Keltie LLP

K2 IP Limited

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EU flagOn 4th and 5th December IPcopy attended the ERA conference “Preparing for the Unitary Patent Package” at the Old Hall in Lincoln’s Inn*.

The latest progress and developments relating to the implementation of the Unitary Patent Package (UPP) were on the menu and the conference included a distinguished group of speakers, many of whom are involved directly in the implementation process. We’ll try and post some more in depth comment in the next week or so on a couple of the talks/subjects discussed but in the meantime here’s some nuggets of news….

– The EPO Select Committee is to meet again on 9 December 2014 and a consolidated set of rules relating to unitary patent protection should be put up on the EPO site at some point in December.

– The publication of the renewal fee levels is, according to Jérôme Debrulle, still expected by June 2015 (though Neil Feinson of the UKIPO suggested it might be a little later than this).

– An entertaining session from Manuel Desantes on the Spanish challenge to the UPP highlighted that the AG’s decision is still not published in English(!) and that, in the speaker’s view, the Opinion is full of inconsistencies. Manuel expected the CJEU to follow the outcome of the Opinion but said he would be disappointed if they followed the same reasoning.

– Kevin Mooney noted that further work was required on the sunrise provision. He suggested that it is still not yet known if there’ll be an opt-out fee. This author thought he detected a collective raising of eyebrows in the audience at this point but Kevin Mooney explained that the receipt and processing of an opt out fee is an administrative task that the EPO say will be difficult for them to do. He also noted that further work is also required on the opt out regime and the language issue needs to be thought through further. This talk is one that IPcopy intends to revisit again in the next week or so in more detail, so watch this space…

– Neil Feinson provided an overview of the implementation work that has been undertaken by the various Working Groups and also gave a loose timeline of upcoming events. It appears that the first half of 2015 will be a busy one! Things to look forward to are:

  • The UK Government response to the UK consultation “Secondary Legislation implementing the UPC” is expected December 2014
  • Domestic implementation of the UK’s secondary legislation is expected in early 2015 (before the UK Election) and ratification of the UPC Agreement by the UK is expected to occur shortly after the UK Election (May)
  • The next draft on the rules relating to the EPLC (representation in the UPC) is expected in Spring 2015
  • The next draft of Rules of Procedure of the UPC is expected in Spring 2015
  • A consultation on the UPC’s Court Fees is due to be launched in Spring 2015
  • UK locations of the UPC: Some movement on the location for the UK’s local and central division is expected by, you’ve guessed it, Spring 2015
  • ITT relating to the IT system due to be placed by Summer 2015

Mark Richardson 8 December 2014

*The venue was impressive but (i) difficult to locate, and (ii) darn cold!

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