Christmas is nearly here and barring any end of the year UPC ratifications we’re not expecting too much to happen on the unitary patent and Unified Patent Court until next year. Before Christmas arrives however here’s a quick update:
Double Patenting in the UK
Those readers following the progress of the UPC closely will recall that some of the responses to the UK’s Technical Review and Call for Evidence suggested that double patenting (between UK national patents and unitary patents) should be permitted.
However IPcopy understands from the UPC Taskforce that because the views on double patenting were evenly split it is proposed to maintain the current situation in the UK that double patenting is not allowed.
Readers interested in the general position on double patenting in Europe can check out page 290 of the National law relating to the EPC book. It will be interesting to see whether any countries change their position as far as the unitary patent is concerned.
UK Patents Act changes
IPcopy also understands that the legislation amending the Patents Act should be completed by spring next year and more details on this should be arriving fairly early in the New Year.
Case Management System and Opt-out Register User Interface
The case management system (CMS) for the UPC has been on a roadshow around Europe with the most recent workshop in Rome on 10 December. It is still possible to register to try the CMS by going to http://secure.unified-patent-court.org/login. Although the development phase of the software is nearing its end, IPcopy is a little surprised to only see around 50 registered users in the UK. A series of infographics charting the progress of the CMS can be seen here.
One area of the user interface that IPcopy hopes will be updated is the opt-out page (see below). Currently it appears that opt-outs have to be registered on a patent by patent basis. For proprietors with large European portfolios this looks like a pretty unfriendly interface.
The Preparatory Committee met on 7-9 December to discuss a revised compromise proposal for the court fees, SME support and recoverable cost ceiling. This proposal is now being fine tuned prior to the February meeting.
Mediation rules and the suggested design of the judicial recruitment and training process were also discussed. Further details on the judicial recruitment/training issues should be forthcoming after the next meeting.
The Prep Committee is due to meet in February, April, May and June next year in order to complete its work by mid 2016.
The design of the UK’s division of the UPC at Aldgate Tower is nearly finished. Construction is due to kick off in the New Year.
The EPO is meeting today (15 December) to discuss the detailed administrative arrangements to formally adopt the rules and procedures around unitary patent protection. There is already agreement on the level of renewal fees (the true Top 4) and the distribution key for the renewal fees.
Mark Richardson 15 December 2015