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Intellectual Property Bill – Ready for Royal Assent

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

The Intellectual Property Bill returned to the House of Lords on 2 April 2014 as part of the “ping pong” stage. The Lords considered the amendments to the Bill made in the House of Commons. As noted in our earlier post the Commons only made amendments to Clauses 3 and 13 (these clauses relate to the qualification criteria for unregistered design right and the criminal offence for copying a registered design).

There was a brief amount of discussion in the Lords (see transcript here) but both amendments were approved. The Bill will now move to Royal Assent and will pass into law.

The Intellectual Property Bill contains a clause related to the Unified Patent Court (see Clause 17). However, it is not expected that the UK will ratify the unified patent court agreement until mid 2015.

Mark Richardson 8 April 2014

IPReg Consultation on simplifying and modernising the examination system for qualifying as a patent attorney

IPRegIPReg has now confirmed that their recent consultation looking at the UK patent attorney exam system has closed. Not surprisingly there were a large number of responses and IPReg is suggesting a minimum of 3 months but more likely 6 months before their conclusions are published.

All the responses will, in time, be published unless you contact them and inform them otherwise.

See below for a selection of published responses to the consultation.

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Unitary Patent System – Nuggets of News

EU flagToday we have a quick round up of some unitary patent related news items that have cropped up in the last week or so. Read on for news on the Danish referendum, the opening of the training centre for UPC Judges, an update on the ratification process in Germany and a slip in the official start date for the whole unitary patent package. (more…)

Representation at the UPC – feedback from Rules of Procedure Submissions

Unified patent courtA CIPA/IPO meeting back in January (covered in posts here and here) looked into the issue of representation in front of the Unified Patent Court (see Rule 286 of the Rules of Procedure) and in particular whether UK patent attorneys will automatically have that right, might be “grandfathered” in or might have to sit some sort of additional qualification.

Back in October last year IPcopy collated a few of the submissions sent in response to the public consultation on the Rules of Procedure of the Unified Patent Court and last week the 16th draft of the Rules of Procedure published accompanied by a handy “comprehensive digest”  that explains some of the reasons behind the changes to the Rules. We thought we’d take a quick look at both the original submissions and the comprehensive digest to see whether any of the respondents touched on this issue as well.

Out of the 12 submissions we listed back in October, three addressed the issue of representation and the comments made by the Association of IP Professionals in Swedish IndustryBristows LLP and the IP Federation (the IP Fed paper downloads as a PDF document) are noted below. There are also a fair number of comments in the digest document (though the three listed above do not appear to be there). (more…)

European Patent Litigation Certificate (Draft Paper now online)

Unified patent courtLast week IPcopy wrote about a draft paper from the legal working group of the preparatory committee that discusses the European Patent Litigation Certificate and the other “appropriate qualifications” that are mentioned under Article 48(2) of the Unified Patent Court Agreement and are required for EPAs to have rights of representation at the UPC.

At the time of writing last week’s article the draft paper was not online but this changed over the weekend when the Twitter user @EPpatent posted a link to a Google docs copy of the paper. The draft paper can be found in our article European Patent Litigation Certificate (& other appropriate qualifications) which has been updated.

While you are checking out the draft paper, take a look at some of the comments on the earlier post, especially the one from IP Frog!

Mark Richardson 10 March 2014

16th draft of Rules of Procedure of Unified Patent Court

Unified patent courtThe 16th draft of the Rules of Procedure of the Unified Patent Court has been published and can be found here (16th draft of Rules of Procedure). Helpfully the latest draft has been prepared as a marked-up document which means the amendments are easy to spot.

There’s a fair amount of red lined comments in this draft which IPcopy will take some time to digest. However, a few points of interest are noted below.

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Nordic Baltic Regional Division Established & Brussels I Regulation Amendments

EU flagA couple of unitary patent news updates courtesy of Nick Cunningham and Michael Carter at Wragge & Co. relating to the signing of the Nordic Baltic regional division of the Unified Patent Court and the approval of the amendments to the Brussels I regulation.

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European Patent Litigation Certificate (& other appropriate qualifications)

Unified patent courtBack in January this year CIPA and the IPO held a joint open meeting to discuss the issue of representation before the Unified Patent Court. This is a very important topic for patent attorneys and the CIPA/IPO meeting explored whether UK patent attorneys (who are EPAs) would have rights of representation at the UPC or whether additional qualifications would be necessary. IPcopy’s reports on this meeting are at the following links – Part I and Part II.

Last week an article went up on the Law Society Gazette asking “Who can act in European patents?” and reference was made in this article to a draft paper that has recently been produced by the legal working group of the preparatory committee. IPcopy had not seen this paper (or even heard of its existence) but the author of the Law Society article was kind enough to provide us with a copy. [Update: a copy of the draft paper has now appeared online and can be accessed here. 10/3/14]

In our view, if you are a European Patent Attorney, then this report does not make for happy reading. If the views expressed in the CIPA/IPO meeting are anything to go by then this seems especially the case if you are an EPA and UK patent attorney. IPcopy summarises the main points of the draft paper below. (more…)

Location, Location, Location (of divisions of the Unified Patent Court)

Unified patent courtAlong 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). (more…)

And then there were three? President Hollande signs off on ratification of UPC Agreement

EU flagFollowing the recent adoption of the Agreement of the Unified Patent Court by the French National Assembly comes news that the French President, François Hollande, has now promulgated the law by signing off on the text in Paris on 24th February 2014.

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