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The IP Federation, the Minister and the European Scrutiny Committee

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EU flagThe IP Federation represents the views of UK Industry and, as can be seen from the front page of their website, has a pretty impressive list of members. As announced here the IP Federation has written to the UK Minister for IP (Viscount Younger of Leckie, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Intellectual Property in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) with a request for an economic analysis to be performed on the effect on the UK economy of the unitary patent system before ratification of the unified patent court agreement takes place.

It will be interesting to see what, if any, response the IP Federation get from Lord Younger. On a related subject we note that the European scrutiny committee has recently cleared the Draft Agreement on a Unified Patent Court and draft Statute (see here for details).

The Minister suggested in his most recent letter to the Committee that “creating a unified patents regime for Europe is an important element of the Government’s growth strategy and a key recommendation from the 2011 Hargreaves review of Intellectual Property and Growth. The Court Agreement is one part of the package of measures necessary to establish this”.

The Committee however seemed to have been less than impressed with these suggestions and said “we remain doubtful at this stage of the benefits to business suggested by the Minister”.

The Committee also listed a number of concerns that have been discussed elsewhere with the unified patent court, namely the “effect of bifurcation on forum shopping, the training and quality of UPC judges, the prohibitive expense of using the unitary patent and UPC, particularly for SMEs, and the lack of an up-to-date Commission impact assessment”.

We’ll keep an eye out for any response to the IP Federation’s request from the Minister.

Mark Richardson        14 February 2013


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