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Since the result of the UK’s referendum on the EU there has been much discussion about what will happen to the unitary patent system in the period before Brexit and also once Brexit has occurred.
Prior to the EU Referendum, many articles that discussed Brexit (including on this blog) referenced the CJEU Opinion 1/09 as the basis for saying that only EU Member States could take part in the UPC Agreement. Following the EU Referendum however a number of commentators posted articles that presented potential mechanisms for the UK’s continued participation in the unitary patent project (UPP).
The future prospects for the UPC and the unitary patent project as a whole have looked somewhat uncertain following the Referendum.
Last week, an opinion (herein the “UPC Opinion”) by Richard Gordon QC and Tom Pascoe of Brick Court Chambers was published which considers the UK, Brexit and the UPP in great detail. Can the UK continue to be a part of the UPP? The short answer seems to be “yes, but…” and further detail on the opinion and the issues discussed is summarised below. (more…)
The kids are back at school, Starbucks has started selling pumpkin spice lattes and, despite the hottest September day for over 50 years predicted today, the nights are beginning to close in. Yes, summer 2016 is coming to a close.
It has been an unusual summer this year. Back in May we had a number of large sporting events to look forward to: the Rio Olympics/Paralympics, where Team GB covered/is covering itself in glory and Euro 2016, where England contrived to get knocked out by a team with a dentist-manager.
But Summer 2016 wasn’t satisfied with just some sporting events for news and the last two months have been filled with so much news it’s been hard to keep track. Sometimes it’s felt like the News Gods have just said: “Sod it, I can’t wait for this news to happen slowly anymore. Let’s put on the Big Box Set of News and just binge watch the whole thing this summer.”
And so we’ve had: a departing UK Prime Minister; a Conservative Party leadership contest; a new Prime Minister; what felt like more Shadow Ministers than there were actually Labour MPs; Corbyn staying, staying, sitting on the floor but still staying; Farage preparing his concession speech before going on to win more friends in the EU Parliament; blue on blue action and through it all the ongoing leap into the unknown that is Brexit.
What follows, just in case you missed us over the last few weeks, is a summary of IPcopy’s posts since we took back control…. (more…)
IPcopy is returning to the subject of the moment today and taking another look at Intellectual Property and Brexit. Just over a month ago we posted our first “Myths and Misconceptions” post with the aim of highlighting any Brexit related commentary in the area of IP that presented a misleading take on the possible changes to the IP world following Brexit.
Today’s article picks up on a comment made about the future of the unitary patent system. IPcopy has highlighted the section of the article we had a slight issue with below. (more…)
As far as IPcopy is concerned, the level of political debate recently has not risen much beyond playground banter with facts and detailed arguments being sacrificed for soundbites and quotable political mantras such as “Let’s take back control”, “Let’s make Britain/America great again”, “We’re gonna build a wall” etc. It seems politics these days just requires the collective unconsciousness to be exposed to such sayings over a long enough period of time to ensure the votes follow…after all, who needs experts, eh? (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…)
On 23 June 2016 the UK public voted in favour of the UK leaving the EU (commonly referred to as ‘Brexit’). If and when the UK formally starts the exit procedure, there will be at least a two-year negotiation period before the exit itself occurs. So, any changes won’t be implemented for some time yet.
Any UK national IP rights will be unaffected by Brexit. Some EU IP rights that have effect in the UK will be affected to different extents. Crucially, no IP rights will be lost as a result of Brexit, although some transitional measures are inevitable.
IPcopy takes a look at the key impact Brexit will have on IP, and what you should be considering now. (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…)
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…)
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…)