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UPC Update – March 2017 (including UK ratification update)

IMG_8533-1The UK Prime Minister announced this week that Article 50 would be triggered on 29 March 2017.

It had been previously reported that the UK might try and conclude its ratification procedure for the Unified Patent Court Agreement prior to the Article 50 notification but the ratification procedure has slipped sufficiently that this will not now be possible.

IPcopy understands from the UKIPO that there is currently no confirmed date for laying the Statutory Instruments (on Privileges and Immunities) before Parliament that are required to complete the UK’s ratification formalities. It is expected that this will now occur after the Easter recess towards the end of April. Further details on the UK’s path to ratifying the UPC Agreement can be found here.

The recess dates for the House of Commons can be found here and for the Lords, here. (more…)

Theresa the Brexit Slayer?

brexit-1481028_1920IPcopy has wondered for a while how the UK’s somewhat surprising announcement last November that we would continue preparations for ratifying the UPC Agreement would play out if the news got wider attention in the media. Despite the Government’s insistence that the UPC is an international court rather than an EU institution I couldn’t see this argument playing well with the readership of certain portions of the press who are champing at the bit for the moment we can retake control of our country. (more…)

Westminster Legal Policy Forum – The future for the UK’s patent framework – Review


logo2wfpIPcopy attended the Westminster Legal Policy Review seminar on 2 February 2017. This post provides a summary of some of the issues raised and discussed at the seminar. (more…)

UPC update – February 2017

IMG_8533-1IPcopy 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…)

Euratom, the CJEU, Brexit and the UPC

brexit-1481028_1920IPcopy 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…)

New UPC Implementation Timetable and further UK ratification progress

IMG_8533-0Following 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…)

The 12 point Brexit plan and the CJEU – can the UK be part of the UPC post-Brexit?

IMG_8533Can 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…)

Johnson and Johnson provide path to UK’s ratification of the UPC Agreement

IMG_8533Jo 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.

The main event though, as far as IPcopy was concerned, was the exchange between Derek Thomas MP and Jo Johnson MP about the Unified Patent Court. (more…)

IPcopy: Top 10 IP posts in 2016

Every year you make me wear this. Santa better bring me a bone this time....[Photo by ellierhu at Morguefile.com]

Every year you make me wear this. Santa better bring me a bone this time….[Photo by ellierhu at Morguefile.com]

It’s that time of year again when, despite your best efforts, possibly the worst music ever created in human history drills itself into your brain and you find yourself humming such “classic” lines as:

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.
(more…)

UK signs Protocol on Privileges and Immunities (Unified Patent Court update)

IMG_8533-1My post last week covered the steps remaining for the UK to ratify the UPC Agreement. Number 1 in that list was signature by the UK of the Protocol on Priviliges and Immunities. Also mentioned in point 1 of the list was the expectation that the UK government’s regular email updates of the process would also recommence.

IPcopy is pleased to note that both  items were crossed off the list last Thursday when an email from the IPO arrived that confirmed the UK had signed the Protocol in Brussels on 14 December. Additionally the email noted that the preparations for laying the necessary legislation have started up again.

IPcopy understands that a number of people in the UPC Taskforce were reassigned following the Referendum result. A new project team has been put together to deliver the ratification work including Liz Coleman (Lead), Dr Laura Stars (Policy Lead), Jonathan England (Operations Manager Aldgate Tower) and Helen Treharne (Communications).

Further updates are expected from the IPO in the New Year but the next Executive Group meeting of the Preparatory Committee is scheduled for 11 January.

Mark Richardson 20 December 2016