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UPC: Summer Recess Update

The UK Parliament is now on its summer recess until September which seems like a good time for a brief update on some unitary patent related bits and bobs from the last couple of weeks. (more…)

UPC: UK/DE Ratification update and new version of CMS expected soon

DDZiBDkXYAAgvPY (1)We’ve had some developments of sorts over the last week as far as ratification progress for the UK and Germany is concerned. A new version of the Case Management System for the UPC is also expected to arrive shortly. (more…)

The unitary patent system: Topics of Interest (Q&A)

IMG_8533Despite there being some more work to do in bringing the unitary patent system online (not to mention the possibility that Brexit could still potentially torpedo or severely slow down the whole process), IPcopy has been asked a growing number of questions recently about the unitary patent and the Unified Patent Court.

What follows below is a selection of questions that we’ve encountered over the last few weeks. This is by no means an exhaustive summary of the current state of play of the unitary patent but we hope the discussion below is useful nonetheless.

A list of topics is below. Click on the topic of interest to jump to the correct part of the post. (more…)

UPC Update – March 2017 (including UK ratification update)

IMG_8533-1The UK Prime Minister announced this week that Article 50 would be triggered on 29 March 2017.

It had been previously reported that the UK might try and conclude its ratification procedure for the Unified Patent Court Agreement prior to the Article 50 notification but the ratification procedure has slipped sufficiently that this will not now be possible.

IPcopy understands from the UKIPO that there is currently no confirmed date for laying the Statutory Instruments (on Privileges and Immunities) before Parliament that are required to complete the UK’s ratification formalities. It is expected that this will now occur after the Easter recess towards the end of April. Further details on the UK’s path to ratifying the UPC Agreement can be found here.

The recess dates for the House of Commons can be found here and for the Lords, here. (more…)

Unitary Patent Package – The Ratification Game (Italy completes its ratification formalities)

EU shirt2Update (13 February 2017)

According to the website of the Council of the European Union, Italy has now deposited its instrument of ratification (on 10 February 2017) to become the 12th country to complete its ratification formalities. Italy joins the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Finland, Portugal, Luxembourg, Malta, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, France and Austria as one of the twelve countries who have completed their ratification processes.

The unitary patent system requires 13 countries to ratify, including the UK, France and Germany. Although the EU Referendum in the UK threw the timescale into doubt, the Preparatory Committee recently confirmed that the target date for the unitary patent system to go live is December 2017.

There are now enough countries to have ratified the unified patent court agreement that the system will come into effect if just the UK and Germany complete their own ratification procedures.

Now that Italy has completed all of the formalities we have updated our ratification infographic (for an answer to the question “What’s up with this infographic?“, please see the bottom of the post!”).

ratification-feb-2017

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UPC update – February 2017

IMG_8533-1IPcopy recently attended two events that discussed updates to the Unitary patent and Unified Patent Court: CIPA’s “The UPC: Where we are and Why” and the Westminster Legal Policy Forum’s “The future for the UK’s patent framework”.

The CIPA event included presentations from Kevin Mooney (Simmons & Simmons and Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Rules of Procedure of the UPC), Dr Laura Starrs (UK Intellectual Property Office) and Tony Rollins (CIPA President) and the WLPF event included contributions from Kevin Mooney, Tim Frain (Nokia), Tony Rollins, Matt McBrien (BAE Systems) and Margot Fröhlinger (EPO).

IPcopy has summarised some of the points below. (more…)

New UPC Implementation Timetable and further UK ratification progress

IMG_8533-0Following the Brexit vote last June progress on bringing the unitary patent system into operation ground to a halt. The last few weeks however have seen a resumption of activities which was confirmed last week when the Unfied Patent Court Preparatory Committee website posted a new timetable for the UPC Agreement to come into force and the Court to open.

All things being equal the Preparatory Committee sees the Court becoming operational in December 2017. Keeping its end of the bargain, for now, the UK also took the next step in its own ratification process. (more…)

Johnson and Johnson provide path to UK’s ratification of the UPC Agreement

IMG_8533Jo Johnson, the Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, last week picked up responsibility for Intellectual Property (from Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe who has moved to a Treasury role). On Wednesday last week Mr Johnson appeared with Jenny Dibden (Director of Science & Research at BEIS) and Sean Dennehey (Acting CEO at UKIPO) at a House of Commons Science and Technology Committee session (video of the event can be found here).

The session was quite wide ranging with questions about the Government’s Industry Strategy Challenge fund, the state of innovation in the UK, the opportunities for collaboration between business and universities and the role of the UKIPO in assisting the public in protecting their inventions and IP.

The main event though, as far as IPcopy was concerned, was the exchange between Derek Thomas MP and Jo Johnson MP about the Unified Patent Court. (more…)

UK signs Protocol on Privileges and Immunities (Unified Patent Court update)

IMG_8533-1My post last week covered the steps remaining for the UK to ratify the UPC Agreement. Number 1 in that list was signature by the UK of the Protocol on Priviliges and Immunities. Also mentioned in point 1 of the list was the expectation that the UK government’s regular email updates of the process would also recommence.

IPcopy is pleased to note that both  items were crossed off the list last Thursday when an email from the IPO arrived that confirmed the UK had signed the Protocol in Brussels on 14 December. Additionally the email noted that the preparations for laying the necessary legislation have started up again.

IPcopy understands that a number of people in the UPC Taskforce were reassigned following the Referendum result. A new project team has been put together to deliver the ratification work including Liz Coleman (Lead), Dr Laura Stars (Policy Lead), Jonathan England (Operations Manager Aldgate Tower) and Helen Treharne (Communications).

Further updates are expected from the IPO in the New Year but the next Executive Group meeting of the Preparatory Committee is scheduled for 11 January.

Mark Richardson 20 December 2016

The UK’s path to ratifying the UPC Agreement 

IMG_8533-0As we reported a couple of weeks ago, the UK announced at the EU Competitiveness Meeting in November that it would be continuing with its preparations for ratifying the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement.

In an article last week I noted that I was unsure of the steps the UK would need to take to ratify. Since then however I have very kindly been walked through the remaining steps of the ratification process in a conversation with Dr Laura Starrs at the UKIPO.

Following this conversation IPcopy understands the process as follows (Note: any errors or omissions in what follows are my fault alone!):

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