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Following the UK’s EU referendum and the triggering of the Article 50 notification, the UK is currently scheduled to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019. Until the final arrangements between the UK and the EU are known there is widespread uncertainty in a range of areas including the intellectual property system within the UK.
For example, a particular IP related area of concern is what will happen in respect of EU Trade Marks (EUTMs) and Registered community designs (RCDs) post-Brexit. Without arrangements to the contrary it is unlikely that such EUTMs and RCDs will continue to cover the UK post-Brexit. [However, it is noted that it is completely within the UK’s ability to arrange for the implementation of an equivalent UK trade mark or design right to mirror the EU right. As such, holders of EUTMs and RCDs should expect that, even if arrangements are currently unclear, it is highly likely that the UK will announce the mechanism for continued protection in due course.]
As the UK and the EU move into the next phase of the Brexit negotiations IPcopy thought that this would be a good opportunity to recap how the referendum result impacts the IP world, what the current official announcements are and what action IP right holders can consider taking now. (more…)
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…)
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.
As we reported a couple of weeks ago, the UK announced at the EU Competitiveness Meeting in November that it would be continuing with its preparations for ratifying the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement.
In an article last week I noted that I was unsure of the steps the UK would need to take to ratify. Since then however I have very kindly been walked through the remaining steps of the ratification process in a conversation with Dr Laura Starrs at the UKIPO.
Following this conversation IPcopy understands the process as follows (Note: any errors or omissions in what follows are my fault alone!):
Preparatory Committee – the next meeting for the Prep Committee is scheduled for this month and the agenda is scheduled to cover some significant items including: judicial salaries, Registry rules, arbitration and the final proposal for the court fees. (Will there be any changes to the level of the opt-out fee? It will be interesting to see the updated proposal in due course.) The Rules of Procedure will require some minor tweaking to incorporate the court fees and also admin errors in the opt-out process and the Rules are due to come before the Prep Committee in April. (more…)
At the last meeting of the Preparatory Committee, the 18th draft of the Rules of Procedure of the Unified Patent Court was adopted.
This 18th draft will, subject to some modifications when the court fees have been decided, form the final version of the Rules of Procedure.
In our post last week we highlighted a story we’d seen that the UKIPO would be responsible for the opt-out register during the sunrise period for the Unified Patent Court and that this register would be transferred to the Court’s registry when the court became active.
We’d not heard of this development before so we reached out to the UPC taskforce team at the UKIPO and asked them about the sunrise period, the opt-out register and the UKIPO’s involvement. (more…)
UK UPC Taskforce
The UK’s UPC Taskforce issued another status update last week. The next Preparatory Committee meeting is scheduled for 19 October.
The Expert Panel of the Preparatory Committee have had a presentation on the IT system and there has also been discussion of the feedback from the court fee consultation. It is also noted that a Code of Conduct is being developed for representatives and proposals for this are being developed with representatives from EPLAW, EPLIT and epi. (more…)