Along with all the other preparations that are required to implement the unitary patent package in the various participating member states, rumblings are often heard regarding the potential location of the local and regional divisions of the Unified Patent Court. This week IPcopy has heard/seen material relating to a potential local division in Ireland and also the possible setting up of a regional “Nordic-Baltic” division in Sweden, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania (Thanks to reader Hans van de Heuvel for the heads up regarding the Nordic-Baltic news).
The Bar Council of Ireland has recently sent a submission to Anne Coleman Dunne, the Head of Section at the Intellectual Property Unit in the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation regarding the possible establishment of a local division of the UPC in Ireland. The submission suggests that a decision not to establish a local division of the UPC in Ireland would:
convey the impression to investors that the intellectual property of high tech industries is not of real concern to Ireland, that Ireland in reality “does not do patents”, and that, despite the expertise available in Ireland, industries based in the high-tech centres such as Galway (life sciences), Cork/Limerick (pharmaceuticals) and Dublin (internet, computing and communications) will now have to find a remedy in the United Kingdom.
The submission goes on to present some very reasonable arguments in support of establishing a local division and also suggests that a division of the High Court in Ireland could (in addition to setting up a local division of the UPC) be designated as a “Technology Court” to send a :
strong message to Irish businesses and foreign businesses considering investing here, that Irish people can provide both the necessary technological skills and the necessary specialised legal skills that the high tech industries require.
Denmark, Finland and Sweden/Latvia/Estonia/Lithunia
Hans van de Heuvel pointed us at an agreement that seems to be proposing a Nordic-Baltic regional division of the Unified Patent Court. An announcement apparently confirming this information can be found on the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers website – see here. As Hans points out the Agreement includes Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and Sweden. Article 9 suggests that it is to be signed in Brussels on 4th March and Article 2 suggests that the division will hear cases in multiple locations in each of the signatory countries. Under Article 4, English will be the language of the proceedings.
Has anyone else heard of this agreement and the fact it may be signed next week?
As Hans pointed out notable absences in the region from this agreement are Denmark and Finland. IPcopy understands that Finland wanted a division which allowed Finnish as a designated language so maybe the language issue has raised its head again and kept Finland out of this agreement. According to this article, language may also have been an issue for Denmark though IPcopy notes that, according to this Patlit blog article, Denmark may be considering setting up its own local division to try and avoid falling at the referendum hurdle.
Mark Richardson 27 February 2014