Topics discussed below include: some actual figures for the renewal fees for the unitary patent(!!), a clarification about the updated European Patent Litigators Certificate, an updated article from Dr Stjerna regarding the Spanish challenges and the CJEU and unitary patent news from Italy.
1) First up, news of the potential renewal fees for the unitary patent. The IPKat has been sent a document “Proposals for the level of renewal fees for European patents with unitary effect” which suggests that the EPO is focussing on two main options for the unitary renewal fees. The two options considered are based on the Top 4 most popular validation countries (UK, FR, DE, NL) and the Top 5 countries (= TOP 4 + SE). A variation of the Top 5 option for SMEs is also considered.
IPcopy will have more discussion on these two options in the near future.
2) In our recent UPC Taskforce update post we queried whether “the Chairman confirmed that the European Patent Litigators Certificate is now in need of finalising and that it should come for adoption at the next meeting of the Preparatory Committee in May“ meant that the EPLC was going to be finalised in May or whether a second draft would issue in May.
Following an email exchange with the UPC Taskforce it appears that the final version of the European Patent Litigators Certificate will be issued in May. So only a couple of months to wait and see whether that QMW course from 15 years ago will be enough to grandfather you in to the new system….
3) Dr Ingve Stjerna, who has written extensively on the unitary patent system on his website, has updated his most recent article that looks into the issues surrounding the Spanish challenge to the unitary patent and the recent developments at the EPO with respect to the independence of the Boards of Appeal. According to Dr Stjerna’s updated article the CJEU will not be considering the recent “house ban” of a member of the Boards of Appeal since this happened after the oral proceedings in C-146/13. Dr Sterna’s website also contains correspondence he exchanged with the CJEU Translation Unit from December 2014 in an effort to track down the elusive English translations of C-146/13 and C-147/13.
4) The Italian government held what we can only describe as a snap consultation recently (16-20 February 2015) which offered Italian stakeholders the chance on commenting whether to (i) fully join the unitary patent system; (ii) ratify the UPC Agreement but not join the unitary patent; or (iii) leave the system altogether. The Italian government sounds like they want to go with option (i) but two stakeholders who have published their replies (FICPI Italy and CONFIMI) have both gone for option (iii). More on this story can be found here.
Mark Richardson 10 March 2015