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According to the website of the Council of the European Union, Latvia has now deposited its instrument of ratification (on 11 January 2018) to become the 15th country to complete its ratification formalities. Latvia joins Lithuania, Estonia, Italy, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Finland, Portugal, Luxembourg, Malta, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, France and Austria as one of the fifteen countries who have completed their ratification processes.
The unitary patent system requires 13 countries to ratify, including the UK, France and Germany. Brexit in the UK and a court challenge in the German Federal Constitutional Court (GFCC) has put the brakes on the progress of the unitary patent system. (more…)
Just before Christmas, the Preparatory Committee for the Unified Patent Court (UPC) published an online article, looking ahead into this new year. Optimistic as usual, the committee expressed to be “hopeful the New Year will bring closure to [its] endeavours and the Unified Patent Court will become a reality”. Some words were spent on the delay caused by the challenges to the German ratification of the Agreement at the German Federal Constitutional Court (GFCC), but most of the article was meant to inform the future users of the unified patent system about the provisional application of the Agreement in the months before the Court will actually start. The article included no words on Brexit and the as yet unclear future relation between the EU and the UK. (more…)
With the ongoing UPC related court case in Germany and the uncertainties arising due to Brexit, the preparations for the unitary patent system have, for the moment at least, something of the feel of a dead rubber match in a sporting competition.
Perhaps, once (if?) the German case allows German ratification preparations to continue and the UK has managed to make its intentions clear, the project will get up and running again. Until then any developments have, to my mind at least, the feel of going through the motions.
It was against this backdrop that the House of Lords Grand Committee met on 6 December 2017 to consider the draft Unified Patent Court (Immunities and Privileges) Order 2017. The approval of this Order by the House of Lords and its subsequent approval (along with the corresponding Scottish Order) by the Privy Council are the last pieces of the UK’s ratification process that need to be completed before the UK can formally ratify the UPC Agreement. (more…)
The EPO published a paper last week – Patents, trade and foreign direct investment in the European Union – which assessed “the impact of the European patent system on the circulation of technologies through trade and foreign direct investment in the EU single market”.
The paper contains an interesting discussion on the impact of the patent system on trade and investment, particularly in “high IP” industries such as bio-pharmaceuticals, ICT and medical device industries. However, as far as the discussion about the unitary patent system is concerned the paper glosses over or omits the challenges or drawbacks facing the unitary patent and Unified Patent Court. (more…)
The unitary patent and UPC are within touching distance of going live. However, recent developments in the UK and Germany potentially put the whole system at risk. So, simply put, where are we now?
When the unitary patent system first came to IPcopy’s attention we were at a conference in Brussels in December 2012 where the keynote speaker from the European Commission suggested that the system would be up and running in just over a year, i.e. Spring 2014. The reality and difficulties of setting up the unified patent court meant that the “go live” date consistently slipped further and further along. Back in August 2013 we had adjusted the expected go live date to “late 2015” and last May, a start date somewhere within 2017 was expected. (more…)
Autumn has officially arrived and so, as we get stuck into another academic year, IPcopy thought we’d quickly take stock of where we are with the unitary patent project. Since our last update back in July it seems like we’ve had a fair amount of news but little in the way of progress. (more…)
This is another belated IPcopy report of a recent CIPA UPC seminar. This webinar looked at the issue of Infringement and Validity Opinions in the European patent landscape when (if?) the unitary patent scheme comes into effect.
Currently of course providing a pan European I&V opinion means that a bundle of EP patents need to be considered and requires the assessment of different infringement and validity laws in different countries. The seminar, run by Leythem Wall of Finnegan, asked whether UK EPAs* will be able to provide a pan European infringement and validity opinion once the Unified Patent Court opens its doors. (more…)
The CIPA UP/UPC series continued in June with episode 5, “Getting Legal with the Unitary patent and how to get it” presented by Chris Mercer. A slightly belated IPcopy summary of the seminar follows…
As for the earlier entries in the series the opening of the seminar provided a recap of the basics of the unitary patent system. IPcopy won’t go over these again here but refers interested readers to our earlier posts on this lecture series here.
This seminar took a bit of a deeper dive into the rules and regulations relating to the unitary patent system and so, as well as references to the two unitary patent regulations (1257/2012 and 1260/2012) and the Unified Patent Court Agreement, we also got a look at the Rules relating to Unitary Patent Protection (UPR) and the Rules relating to Fees for Unitary Patent Protection. There was also some time spent looking at the EP Patent Register and the changes that are to be made there to accommodate European patents with unitary effect.
IPcopy has summarised some of the points that caught our eye: (more…)
Episode 4 of the CIPA series on the unitary patent system looked at factors that might impact an applicant’s patent strategy. This entry into the CIPA UPC series covered some similar ground to the first three seminars and so we’ve tried to represent the main points in the table below. This session was notable for the extended Q&A session (which IPcopy personally enjoyed) which, in our view, suggested that there may still be some misunderstandings over how the unitary patent system will work in practice. Some of the themes from the Q&A are also discussed below along with a few other titbits of information.
The speaker, Dave Croston of Withers & Rogers, pointed out that the webinar would not be an algorithm that you could plug factors into in order to develop a patent strategy. Neither would it be an exhaustive look at all strategy based points. Rather the seminar aimed to provide a headline look at a number of the issues. (more…)