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Unitary patent – Preparatory Committee Updates

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Unified patent courtThe Preparatory Committee for the Unified Patent Court has updated their website to indicate that a number of experts have been invited to join an Expert Panel to provide informal advice to the various work streams that exist in the UPC roadmap. The UPC website has also been updated with a new roadmap.

Expert Panel

The expert panel are not expected to affect the existing work that is being undertaken in setting up the UPC. Instead the individuals have been invited in their personal capacities to provide additional advice when needed. There are 14 members listed on the website comprising lawyers, judges, patent attorneys and a couple of business representatives. UK readers will be interested to note the following names within the expert panel: in the lawyers’ section – Kevin Mooney; in the judges’ section – Sir Christopher Floyd, Sir Colin Birss and Sir Robin Jacob; and in the business representatives’ section – Tim Frain.

Roadmap

We had been promised an updated roadmap at the recent “Unitary patent and Unified patent court” conference back in July. The roadmap has now been updated and can be found here. The updated roadmap restates the earliest start date for the UPC as late 2015 but admits that this roadmap “is still ambitious”. There then follows a summary of the work to date with an overview of the various working areas. The following nuggets of information caught our eye:

  • Following a public hearing for user organisations, the Preparatory Committee expects to further review the draft Rules of Procedure in early 2015 before agreeing on the rules in May next year;
  • A first draft on the Rules on legal aid was discussed in July this year with a final draft expected to be agreed in January 2015;
  • On the issue of Court Fees a first draft was apparently discussed by the Preparatory Committee in March this year. A further draft is expected in March next year with a public consultation in the spring next year also mentioned. IPcopy notes that the public consultation appears to have slipped in the timetable compared to comments from the Preparatory Committee back in July (see Alexander Ramsay’s comments in section (2) of our earlier post here).
  • European Patent Litigation Certificate – the public consultation has closed. A revised draft is expected early 2015.
  • The procurement process for the IT system should take place this Autumn.

Mark Richardson 18 September 2014


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