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Four years on from the launch of the lean, mean, Green Channel patent machine, will this process for accelerating UK patent prosecution still have any worth should the new Superfast patent processing service be launched?
In a recent post we looked at a consultation from the UKIPO which was proposing superfast patent processing. That’s not the only consultation that is running at the UKIPO and there is a further one entitled “Fast Track Opposition Procedure. Trade Mark Tribunal”. This consultation is running until 17 May 2013 and seeks the views of users and potential users of the UK national registration system about the introduction of a lower cost “fast track” opposition based on earlier registered or pending marks.
As noted in the consultation a fast track opposition process may differ from the existing procedures in a number of ways, namely:
- Lower opposition fee
- Grounds limited to s.5(1)/5(2)
- Limit to the number of earlier marks that can be relied upon
- If over 5 years old, proof of use to be filed with the notice of opposition using a pro-forma statement with exhibits
- Leave required for either party to file any further evidence
- Decisions normally from the papers
- Introduction of refundable appeal fee large enough to discourage frivolous appeals
The full reasoning behind the above proposals can be found in the consultation document but a few issues with the proposals, as highlighted by our trade mark team, are noted below:
The UKIPO has opened consultation on a new accelerated prosecution service dubbed “superfast”. The intention appears to be to offer this premium service in addition to free acceleration services currently available, which can already bring the time taken to obtain a UK patent to less than a year.
The newly be-logoed UK Intellectual Property Office has recently released a Discussion Paper on the possibility of introducing an Appointed Person for Patents at the IPO (I promised ipcopymark I wouldn’t mention that on an initial glance he read this as an Anointed Person for Patents…so you didn’t hear it from me…), and has invited comments from one and all.
Presently, the route of appeal from any decision of the IPO on patents is generally to the Patents Court (part of the High Court, or to the Court of Session in Scotland). If an Appointed Person for Patents is indeed Anointed, this would provide a new low-cost route of Appeal for patent decisions issued by the IPO. The decision of the Appointed Person would be final, and no further appeal to the High Court would be possible. (more…)
Following concerns that the strict patent infringement tests applied by the Courts in the UK are driving lucrative clinical trials overseas, the UK government has now concluded a review of the statute that would allow for a broader ‘Bolar’ exemption to enter UK law.
The UK Intellectual Property Offfice on the other hand celebrates 160 years this year and this IPcopywriter believes it is a case of 160 years young rather than 160 years old.