Under current arrangements the EPO refunds 75% of the examination fee after the examining division has assumed responsibility for the case but before substantive examination has actually begun. In order to provide transparency over whether substantive examination has begun the EPO also posts a notice on the EP patents register to let applicants know when substantive examination has started.
As from 1 July 2016 the EPO is going a stage further (see EPO News Item) and is now starting to inform applicants, if operationally possible, at least two months in advance of the date on which it intends to start substantive examination. Any application that is withdrawn, refused or deemed to be withdrawn before such substantive examination has begun will get a full (100%) exam fee refund instead of the previous 75% rate. (more…)
Despite the result of the referendum in the UK, it would appear that technical preparations for the Unified Patent Court are going to continue.
The UK’s ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement is a required step in bringing the unitary patent system into play. Without the UK’s participation the remaining members of the project are faced with either waiting for the UK to leave the EU (which appears to be at least 2.5 years away now) or renegotiating the UPC Agreement to remove the UK.
However, in a joint statement from the Chairmen of the UPC Preparatory Committee and the EPO Select Committee dealing with the Unitary Patent it is noted that “it is too early to assess what the impact of this vote [the Referendum] on the Unified Patent Court and the Unitary Patent Protection eventually could be”. The statement ends with the Preparatory and Select Committees stating that “work dedicated to the technical implementation should continue to progress as envisaged.” (more…)
Just a few days ago the UK went to the polls and returned a verdict which shocked the country, Europe and the world. Oh, and wiped $3 trillion off the world stock market.
The following days in Westminster have been (mild understatement follows) somewhat interesting. The UK Prime Minister is on his way out, the Conservative Party is gearing up for a leadership contest, Boris has been betrayed by the Govefather, Jeremy Corbyn has installed a revolving door in his Shadow Cabinet and Nigel Farage went to the EU Parliament to suggest a cardiac surgeon born in a Soviet gulag had never had a real job in his life. (more…)
IPcopy has been provided with a copy of an update from the UKIPO into the work they have been doing recently to combat misleading invoices. Previous IPcopy articles on this subject can be found here.
Following the recent successful trademark infringement and passing off cases against the Intellectual Property Agency and the Patent and Trade Mark Office/Organisation (see The Comptroller–General of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks and BIS v: Intellectual Property Agency Ltd and Harri Jonasson  EWHC 3256 (IPEC) and also Misleading invoices – the UKIPO fights back), the UKIPO has also been tackling the problem of scam invoices in a number of other ways: (more…)
This Thursday, 23 June 2016, is of course Referendum Day here in the UK, the outcome of which could have a significant impact on the unitary patent system. This Thursday also marks the day on which two bills relating to Germany’s ratification procedure for the UPCA will come before the German parliament. This hearing is apparently the first of three hearings. With the German Parliament due to take a summer break throughout most of July and August it may be the autumn before the necessary steps have been taken to ratify the UPCA in Germany. [German Parliament calendar; Draft Bill 1; Draft Bill 2] (more…)
The UK design sector is extremely important to the UK with the Design Council’s Design Report of 2015 suggesting that the UK’s design economy generated over £70 billion in gross value added (GVA). The ability to protect intellectual property is vital and for the design sector the registered design right is a crucial available means of protection.
The recent Trunki decision at the UK Supreme Court made headlines recently with some designers fearing that the decision would cause uncertainty within the design industry (see, for example, “this decision will create chaos and confusion”; the “blow to Britain’s design community”; and, “this plunges design law into an abyss”). (more…)
Update (7 June 2016)
According to the website of the Council of the European Union, Bulgaria has now deposited its instrument of ratification (on 3 June 2016) to become the tenth country to complete its ratification formalities. Bulgaria joins Finland, Portugal, Luxembourg, Malta, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, France and Austria as one of the ten countries who have completed their ratification processes.
The unitary patent system requires 13 countries to ratify including the UK, France and Germany meaning that just the UK, Germany and one other country are required to ratify to bring the unitary patent system into effect. The target date for the unitary patent system is currently May 2017.
The first update in a while popped into IPcopy’s inbox today from the UK’S UPC Taskforce. This looks like it may be the last such official update for a few weeks as the UK will be “going dark” in the period before the EU Referendum. (Hopefully the first communication after the restart won’t begin “EU Referendum Result – Oops. The rest of you can take it from here, right?”!)
Anyway, back to the main news: (more…)
The only alternative to the EU is chaos? Brexit and trade marks/designs discussed at the CIPA Symposium
The European Council president Donald Tusk suggested recently that Brexit could bring chaos. Does this doom laden warning extend to the world of IP?
In an earlier post we covered the discussion at the CIPA Symposium on Brexit as it related to the unitary patent system (summary: Brexit probably won’t be good for the unitary patent). In this post we recap some of the issues discussed in the sessions on general legal implications of withdrawal from the EU, the impact on European trade marks and Community registered designs and some wider implications of Brexit. (more…)
Newspapers reported last week that Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF, regarded a vote to leave the EU as having “pretty bad to very, very bad consequences” for the UK. This view was echoed by four of the five panelists at the CIPA/IP Centrum Brexit Symposium on Thursday 12 May. The symposium, hosted by Gwilym Roberts, included a contribution from Kevin Mooney who has been heavily involved in preparations for the (hopefully) upcoming unitary patent system.
In this post IPcopy will take a look at the implications for the unitary patent system in the event of a vote to leave the EU. (more…)