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UPC Updates: UK UPC Taskforce, Italy U-turn & the Belgian Challenge

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IMG_8533-0IPcopy has received a further short update from the UK’s UPC taskforce on the state of play with the unitary patent and UPC. We also note below the updated position of Italy with respect to the unitary patent and the state of the Belgian challenge to the ratification of the UPC Agreement.

UK Taskforce Updates

The most recent update from the UK’s taskforce is a fairly light one. As far as the UPC Consultation on the Rules on Court Fees is concerned then it is noted that CIPA and the IP Federation will be hosting awareness raising events for individuals and businesses to gain a better understanding of the background of the consultation, the details of the various elements contained within it and how best to get your views across.

A London event is planned (details below) but the possibility of further events in other locations around the UK is being explored. The level of interest for these events is being gauged and it is requested that anyone interested in another event being held in Scotland, Manchester or Leeds register that interest by clicking through one of the links below.

The London event however is scheduled for 23rd June 2015 from 6-7.30pm at the Allen and Overy Offices. Justice Birss, Kevin Mooney and Alan Johnson are scheduled to take part in the panel for this event. An online webinar is also being planned with details to follow.

Those wanting to attend in person should email Tina Alexander at Allen and Overy (Tina.Alexander@allenovery.com).

Preparatory Committee – the next meeting will be on 10 July.

IT – Evaluations are almost complete. A number of workshops with users are planned for the Autumn and anyone wanting more information on these workshops is encourage to sign up to the UPC e-filing / case management prototype mailing list at this location.

Legal – The Legal team is continuing to work on two proposed protocols for provisional application and privileges & immunities. The team is also still working on a recommendation for the European Patent Litigation Certificate drafting group  (the EPLC was not adopted at the last Prep Comm meeting).

The Legal Frameworks Working Group are working on the Rules of Procedure. A revised version of the rules is due to be presented at the next Preparatory Committee meeting on 10 July.

Unitary Patent – The next meeting of the EPO Select Committee was scheduled for earlier this week (26 and 27 May). Discussion of the renewal fees for the unitary patent was still ongoing at the time of writing….

Italy

Now that the Spanish challenges to the unitary patent system are over Italy has decided to change its position and join the unitary patent party. The Undersecretary of the Italian Ministry of the Economy Simona Vicari stated recently that joining the unitary patent is now a priority for Italy.

A full statement from the Undersecretary can be found here and it seems that Italy is hopeful of being able to join in the discussion surrounding the setting of the renewal fees for the unitary patent.

A separate statement from the Italian press agency can be found here which contains another of those unsubstantiated financial assertions that IPcopy is always so happy to see. In this case the unitary patent will somehow be responsible for substantial reductions in translations and legal fees in the cost of gaining patent protection to the tune of 180-250 million Euros per year. No indication is given of course as to how that figure is arrived at.

Belgium

Readers may recall that a challenge was filed in Belgium at the Belgian Constitutional Court  regarding the ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court. Unfortunately for the party launching this challenge, the association ESOMA (European Software Market Association), the action was deemed inadmissible because it was filed too late (Belgian law requires such actions to be filed within a set period of time after a law ratifying a treaty is made and the ESOMA action was outside this period).

So that’s the end of that then.

Mark Richardson 28 May 2015


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