UPC Confirmed Locations. The UPC website was updated last week with UPC divisions that have confirmed their locations. The Court of Appeal in Luxembourg, the Nordic-Baltic Regional Division in Sweden and the four local divisions and central division in Germany are currently listed along with their addresses and some photos.
IPReg Guidance Note. IPReg and CIPA have published a guidance note highlighting the various options UK patent attorneys have if they wish to represent clients at the Unified Patent Court. The guidance note confirms that all UK patent attorneys who entered the UK register before 31 December 2012 hold an Intellectual Property Litigation Certificate which, during the one year transitional period, will be sufficient to get UK EPAs onto the list of entitled representatives for the UPC.
The transitional period has not started to run yet but CIPA/IPReg will provide the necessary supporting documents in due course. It is noted that the guidance note also details the other courses in the UK which will enable entry onto the list.
Following the transitional period EPAs will need to attend an accredited course involving a minimum of 120 hours of study. No courses are currently available and the note concludes with advice for anyone training towards EPA and UK qualifications, namely “If you are not yet an EPA, you should aim to become one before the end of the transitional period if possible“(!) and also take an appropriate course such as the UK patent attorney Basic Skills Course or the Nottingham Law School course.
UPC Case Management System. Development of the CMS continues with a number of changes planned for this month including a basket capability for the Opt-out process. Hopefully this will allow a portfolio of patents to be stacked in the system without having to go through the payment process each time.
On the issue of the Opt-Out fee, recent reports have speculated that the opt-out fee may be dropped to zero. We should find out soon enough when the revised fees proposal makes its way to the Preparatory Committee in the next few weeks.
Spain – the head of Spain’s Patent and Trademark Office, Patricia Garcia-Escudero, has given an interview to WIPR magazine in which she supports the Spanish government’s stance towards the unitary patent and UPC. The language issue is mentioned in the article and Garcia-Escudero makes the point that Spanish SMEs (99% of the economy apparently) would be disadvantaged on the language point.
Mark Richardson 11 February 2016