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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…)
The unitary patent system is moving towards launch with most people anticipating the start of operations to occur at some point next year. The Unified Patent Court is to comprise a registry, Court of First Instance and a Court of Appeal. The Court of First Instance will have a central division based in Paris, with sections in London and Munich, and a number of local and regional divisions spread through the Contracting Member States. The Court of Appeal will be in Luxembourg.
A court needs judges though and the UPC is now looking for applicants to recruit as both the legally qualified and technically qualified judges. The recruitment process is now open and the closing date is just under two months away on 4 July 2016. Vacancy notices can be found here (EN, FR, DE). (more…)
Today we have an update on progress towards the unitary patent and the implementation of the UPC.
The Preparatory Committee met last week in Luxembourg to discuss a number of matters including the recruitment package for judicial appointments. Adverts for UPC judges should begin to appear from early next month. It is noted that UPC First Instance judges are to be paid in the region of 132,000 Euros per year and Court of Appeal judges will receive 144,000 Euros per year.
The Committee also discussed a draft code of conduct for practitioners. This code of conduct, which is not yet available for review, is expected to be signed towards the end of May. (more…)
As noted recently the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee has been considering the secondary legislation being used to bring the UPC system into effect in the UK. Of interest in their report is the additional clarifications received in respect of the inclusion of the infringement exception at Article 27(k) of the UPC Agreement into UK law, the computer program exception.
The Committee’s report details comments raised on the draft Order from Baroness Bowles of Berkhamstead including comments relating to the computer program exception. The Committee had put the Baroness’ concerns to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). The full reply from BIS can be found in the Appendix to the Report. (more…)