Update (13 February 2017)
According to the website of the Council of the European Union, Italy has now deposited its instrument of ratification (on 10 February 2017) to become the 12th country to complete its ratification formalities. Italy joins the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Finland, Portugal, Luxembourg, Malta, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, France and Austria as one of the twelve countries who have completed their ratification processes.
The unitary patent system requires 13 countries to ratify, including the UK, France and Germany. Although the EU Referendum in the UK threw the timescale into doubt, the Preparatory Committee recently confirmed that the target date for the unitary patent system to go live is December 2017.
There are now enough countries to have ratified the unified patent court agreement that the system will come into effect if just the UK and Germany complete their own ratification procedures.
Now that Italy has completed all of the formalities we have updated our ratification infographic (for an answer to the question “What’s up with this infographic?“, please see the bottom of the post!”).
IPcopy recently attended two events that discussed updates to the Unitary patent and Unified Patent Court: CIPA’s “The UPC: Where we are and Why” and the Westminster Legal Policy Forum’s “The future for the UK’s patent framework”.
The CIPA event included presentations from Kevin Mooney (Simmons & Simmons and Chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Rules of Procedure of the UPC), Dr Laura Starrs (UK Intellectual Property Office) and Tony Rollins (CIPA President) and the WLPF event included contributions from Kevin Mooney, Tim Frain (Nokia), Tony Rollins, Matt McBrien (BAE Systems) and Margot Fröhlinger (EPO).
IPcopy has summarised some of the points below. (more…)
IPcopy is finding it difficult to reconcile the UK Government’s various announcements regarding the CJEU with continued participation in the unitary patent scheme.
As discussed in an earlier post we suggested that the Government was going to argue that continued participation in the unitary patent scheme was OK, despite the presence of the CJEU within the unified patent court structure, because domestic patent law would be unaffected by the limited influence the CJEU would have over UPC decisions.
Last week it became clear from the explanatory notes accompanying the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill (the “Article 50 bill”) that the Government was intending on pulling out of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) as well as the EU. (more…)
Various IPCopiers were present last week for the annual patent seminar at Gowling WLG, helmed by the inimitable Gordon Harris.
Alex Brodie opened with some potentially unsettling statistics. Although the numbers of decisions, decisions per court, number per subject matter and type of action were almost identical between 2015 and 2016, the ‘win’ (valid/infringed, valid (at least in part) and infringed) vs. loss stats differed markedly: (more…)
Today on IPcopy we have a guest post from Nicola McNeely of Capital Law. This post has been reproduced with the permission of the author.
The European Protected Food Name (EUPFN) Scheme provides important protection to many household brands across the UK, including several in Wales. Post Brexit, there will be some negotiating to do to ensure that this protection is upheld – and that it continues to be available. But why is EUPFN status is so important – and why does it need to be firmly on the negotiating agenda for Wales? (more…)
Following the Brexit vote last June progress on bringing the unitary patent system into operation ground to a halt. The last few weeks however have seen a resumption of activities which was confirmed last week when the Unfied Patent Court Preparatory Committee website posted a new timetable for the UPC Agreement to come into force and the Court to open.
All things being equal the Preparatory Committee sees the Court becoming operational in December 2017. Keeping its end of the bargain, for now, the UK also took the next step in its own ratification process. (more…)
Can the UK continue with the UPC post-Brexit? IPcopy suggests a tentative way forward.
After months of soundbites we finally heard the “plan” for Brexit this week when the Prime Minister gave a speech at Lancaster House that detailed a 12 point plan for leaving the EU (Full transcript here).
Objective 2 of this action plan related to the control of our own laws and leaving the jurisdiction of the CJEU (see extract from the transcript in footnote below1). This in turn lead several commentators to speculate that this would block the UK’s participation in the unitary patent scheme post-Brexit since, under the UPCA, questions relating to the interpretation of EU law can be referred from the UPC to the CJEU.
How, in light of this link between the CJEU/UPC and the PM’s statement, could the UK continue participation in the UPC?
The simplest answer to the above question is that post-Brexit the UK will have to leave the UPC and unitary patent. However, this is seemingly at odds with statements made recently by Jo Johnson (see our article from earlier this week) where it was suggested that the UK has a great interest in being part of the UPC and that our continued participation will be part of the Brexit negotiations.
So, IPcopy wondered if there was a way of reconciling this apparent conflict such that the UK could stay part of the UPC. (more…)
Jo Johnson, the Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, last week picked up responsibility for Intellectual Property (from Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe who has moved to a Treasury role). On Wednesday last week Mr Johnson appeared with Jenny Dibden (Director of Science & Research at BEIS) and Sean Dennehey (Acting CEO at UKIPO) at a House of Commons Science and Technology Committee session (video of the event can be found here).
The session was quite wide ranging with questions about the Government’s Industry Strategy Challenge fund, the state of innovation in the UK, the opportunities for collaboration between business and universities and the role of the UKIPO in assisting the public in protecting their inventions and IP.
In this post IPcopy argues that the Brexit vote represents a golden opportunity for IP rights holders outside the EU to send patent, trade mark and design work to the UK as a weakened pound makes the high quality IP services on offer in the UK more value for money than ever before. (more…)
So here it is Merry Christmas
Everybody’s having fun
Look to the future now
It’s only just begun.
Based on what happened this year I can only hope Slade are wrong when they say that “it’s only just begun” – Brexit, the US elections, Ed Balls making it to Blackpool – the shocks have come thick and fast this year and I was rather hoping 2017 might be a little…boring.
So, what does next year have in store? Who knows …. but IPcopy notes that the effects, if any, of the unexpected outcomes of the Referendum and the US Election probably won’t really start to bite until 2017….Merry Christmas everyone!
In the rest of the post below we take a quick look back IPcopy’s Top 10 IP related posts from 2016. Before we do that however I’d like to remember in a small tribute two members of the Keltie family that are sadly not with us this Christmas, David Keltie and Lindsey Gordon-Thomas. David of course set up the firm I am part of just over 28 years ago and succeeded in his desire to “create something amazing”. Lindsey worked in our accounts department and was, like David, one of the nicest, happiest and most positive guys you could ever meet. David and Lindsey both possessed an infectious laugh and wherever they are right now I’m certain it’s buzzing. David, Lindsey, it was my pleasure to have known you both.