Things are relatively quiet in unitary patent land but an update email from the UK’s UPC Taskforce plopped into IPcopy’s Inbox last week with the latest state of play. A summary of the update email plus a quick look at Ireland’s planned referendums this year is below.
The expert panel met yesterday (4 February) in London for their second meeting. The main points of discussion are understood to have been the interpretations of the opt-out and the structure of the court fees.The court fees are expected to be the subject of a consultation sometime in the Spring (as noted here). The executive group of the Prep Committee also met in Brussels on Friday 30 January though this was apparently only to set an agenda for the next Prep Comm meeting!
The UKIPO’s expression of interest for the UPC contract closed on Monday. Tender documentation is being reviewed with a view to issuing Invitations to Tender to selected providers by 23 February 2015. The contract itself is expected to be awarded by mid May this year.
Work is ongoing to investigate London property options. Two of the potential locations have previously been discussed on IPcopy. Other options are being explored though. It is understood that a telephone conference took plce toward the end of January to discuss issues such as privileges, court staff immunities ad ICT functions.
The next meeting of the Legal Working Group on the Rules of Procedure is sometime in February.
Nothing major from the EPO Select Committee (SC) which last met on 9 December (see IPcopy article here) though the chair of the committee has apparently repeated that the discussion on the unitary patent fees is aiming to finish by June this year. The next meeting is in the diary for 19 February.
Unified Patent Court Referendum in Ireland
A constitutional referendum will be required in Ireland to set up the Unified Patent Court. Based on this article from the Irish Times however this referendum will not be held in 2015 with Ireland instead only opting to hold referendums on marriage equality and the age qualification of presidential election candidates this year.
Mark Richardson 5 February 2015