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On the 13th June 2013, the Licensing Executives Society of Britain and Ireland held a meeting entitled “Europe’s New Unified Patent Court – for better or for worse?“. The meeting was chaired by the Rt. Hon. Professor Sir Robin Jacob and included a number of distinguished speakers associated with the world of IP: Richard Vary (Head of Litigation at Nokia), Arnaud Michel (Gide Loyrette Nouel), Alan Johnson (Bristows) and Ian Wood (Charles Russell). Oh, and me (so an 80% distinguished speaking panel then).
The meeting covered a number of aspects of the proposed Unitary Patent system (or “A European Tragedy” as Sir Robin Jacob put it). My presentation is attached below along with a brief overview of my slides.
- Members of IPcopy and Keltie LLP attended Browne Jacobson‘s annual IP seminar last week. One participant floated an interesting observation from the US (population: 314 million; states: 50) regarding the unitary patent system in Europe (EU population: 504 million; 27 member states). While we are worrying about bifurcation and central attack, it was noted that the US, which is much closer in size to the EU than to any particular member state, seems to be looking forward to a patent system that on the surface more closely resembles their own system (one large geographic area covering millions of people and “local divisions” in different states) than the current European set up. Are we setting up a system that will be more popular to people outside the EU than to those within?
The Intellectual Property Bill is currently making its way through the Houses of Parliament. Announced as part of the Queen’s Speech earlier this month, the Intellectual Property Bill had its first reading in the House of Lords the following day.
The Bill proposes various amendments, particularly regarding designs and makes provisions for the UK to create its Unified Patent Court, in preparation for the ratification of the Unitary Patent Package.
In the first part of a series on the Intellectual Property Bill, IPCopy summarises the main proposals affecting patents. (more…)
- The timetable for the unitary patent system to “go live” appears to be slipping. Remember that when the regulations and UPC agreement were being finalised it was the desire of the European Commission to see the first unitary patent grant in Spring 2014. However, we now understand that the UK is unlikely to be in a position to ratify the agreement until mid 2015. Following the 13th state to ratify the UPC Agreement, the system will come into being 4 months later. So, on the basis of the current UK timetable, the earliest the unitary patent system will come into effect is late 2015/early 2016. [That's assuming that 12 other states have already ratified by this point] (more…)
Recently, a copy of the 15th draft rules of procedure of the Unified Patent Court, was released. We now understand from the Bristows UPC website that this version of the 15th draft rules has not been approved by the rules committee and may be subject to further change. We will keep you updated on the official 15th draft and will link to it on IPCopy as soon as we can get our mitts on it. Before it became apparent that the circulated version was unofficial, IPCopy put together a tracked-changes version of the Rules comparing the fourteenth and (unofficial) fifteenth drafts, so you could spot the revisions easily.
We’ve decided to keep this tracked-changes version available on IPCopy for now, and when the official 15th draft is released we’ll be taking another look. For the time being, and on the understanding that some of these changes might be undone in the official version, here’s a look at the changes that caught IPCopy’s collective eye…
On Wednesday, Her Majesty the Queen (Head of State of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms and Bond Girl) delivered the Queen’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament and set out the measures the government wants to get through Parliament in the year ahead.
As well as bills relating to immigration and the new high speed rail link, the Queen’s Speech introduced the Intellectual Property Bill.
IPCopy welcomes K2 IP Attorney Adam Brocklehurst for his inaugural blog post, which we hope will be the first of many! Adam was our reporter-on-the-ground at the Westminster Legal Policy Forum on 30 April 2013, and you can enjoy his whistle-stop-tour of the event here.
The Westminster Legal Policy Forum gathered in Whitehall this week for a wide-ranging discussion of hot IP policy and political topics. IP Copy was there to pick up any interesting tidbits. Headliners were HHJ Birss, Baroness Wilcox, Sean Dennehey, representatives from the European Commision, and various speakers from practice and industry.
At a CIPA webinar on the Unitary Patent on 15 March 2013, a comment from a member of the panel took us rather by surprise: a suggestion was made that there is no provision in the UPC Agreement for post-grant amendment.
This IPCopy writer promptly dove for her well-worn copies of the Regulation and the Agreement, streams of obscure patent doomsday situations running through her head, and words of disbelief cascading in the direction of her unfortunate office-mates (such are the hazards of an open plan)*. Could this be true?
Well, yes and no, it seems… (more…)
Back in December we posted an in-depth Q&A about the unitary patent package, taking you on a whistle-stop tour of the unitary patent, the unified patent court, and what it might mean for patent owners and IP professionals.
Much of the picture remains the same, but there have been a few changes in recent months, and IPCopy has updated its Q&A for your reading pleasure. So, just in case you didn’t enjoy it enough the first time round, welcome to the Unitary Patent Q&A 2: The Update…