Home » Patents » UPC update from the UK’s UPC Taskforce (May 2015)

UPC update from the UK’s UPC Taskforce (May 2015)

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Unified patent courtFollowing the outcome of the UK’s General Election the UK’s UPC Taskforce has awoken from its period of Purdah to provide another update on all things UPC. So here for your digestion is the news:

As noted earlier on IPcopy, the Preparatory Committee met last week to discuss progress in a number of areas including the UPC Court Fees consultation and the European Patent Litigation Certificate. The UPC Preparatory Committee website has been updated with the Consultation on the Rules on Court fees and recoverable costs (see here) and also an update note (see here). IPcopy’s initial comments on the Court Fees consultation can be found here.

Luxembourg and Portugal are expected to ratify the UPC Agreement soon. As previously noted on IPcopy, Luxembourg has already ratified the UPC Agreement but has not yet deposited its instrument of ratification. In Portugal, the Portuguese Parliament passed a motion to approve the UPC on 10 April 2015. Presidential assent by decree and deposition of their instrument of ratification is still required for Portugal to complete the ratification process. More on the Portuguese update can be found on the Bristows UPC website (here). As soon as there is further movement on either Luxembourg or Portugal (or indeed any other countries) then we will update our Ratification tracker post.

The European Patent Litigation Certificate was not adopted in the 5 May Prep Comm meeting but it is expected that the outstanding issues will be resolved via a written procedure within the next few weeks. The UK apparently has some outstanding matters with the current proposal.

The Finance, IT and Legal Sub-groups are all due to meet this week. As far as the IT team are concerned then a number of supplier demos are being scheduled this month. There are also plans to host a number of workshops after the summer to refine requirements. Anyone wanting further info on the workshops should sign up to the UPC e-filing/case management prototype mailing list at this link.

The IT and Facilities Working Groups held a joint meeting on 21-22 April in the German Patent and Trademark Office and the Federal Patent Court in Munich to discuss, amongst other matters, how good their internet connections need to be.

In the Legal Framework working group there will be a dedicated meeting on 25/26 June of the Expert Drafting Group and the Legal Frameworks Working Group members to discuss a revised version of the Rules of Procedure. The next Preparatory Committee meeting is on 10 July and the revised Rules of Procedure should be ready for this meeting. The Legal group continues working on proposals for provisional application and privileges & immunities.

The Finance team has been working with CIPA and the IP Federation, to plan events at raising awareness of the Court Fees consultation.

It’s business as usual in the EPO Select Committee who are still talking about the Unitary Patent renewal fees. Next meeting is 26/27 May.

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Mark Richardson 11 May 2015


  1. Russell Barton says:

    Have they given any indication of whether ratification will occur before or after an EU referendum?

    • ipcopymark says:

      Hi Russell

      Thank you for your comment. As I understand it, the UK plan is to continue with the ratification process now that the distraction of the General Election is out of the way. Once we ratify we would need to deposit our instrument of ratification to fully complete the formalities of ratifying the UPC Agreement.

      So the UK could push through the required legislation to ratify but then sit on the deposit of our instrument of ratification until (i) the court, IT system etc are ready and possibly (ii) the outcome of the referendum is known.

      If we hold back for reason (ii) then that would have the effect of delaying the unitary patent system until late 2017 at the earliest.

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