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UPC ratification: Latvia completes its ratification formalities

IMG_8533According to the website of the Council of the European Union, Latvia has now deposited its instrument of ratification (on 11 January 2018) to become the 15th country to complete its ratification formalities. Latvia joins Lithuania, Estonia, Italy, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Finland, Portugal, Luxembourg, Malta, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, France and Austria as one of the fifteen countries who have completed their ratification processes.

The unitary patent system requires 13 countries to ratify, including the UK, France and Germany. Brexit in the UK and a court challenge in the German Federal Constitutional Court (GFCC) has put the brakes on the progress of the unitary patent system. (more…)

Is it time to bury the UPC yet?

IMG_8533-1Just before Christmas, the Preparatory Committee for the Unified Patent Court (UPC) published an online article, looking ahead into this new year. Optimistic as usual, the committee expressed to be “hopeful the New Year will bring closure to [its] endeavours and the Unified Patent Court will become a reality”. Some words were spent on the delay caused by the challenges to the German ratification of the Agreement at the German Federal Constitutional Court (GFCC), but most of the article was meant to inform the future users of the unified patent system about the provisional application of the Agreement in the months before the Court will actually start. The article included no words on Brexit and the as yet unclear future relation between the EU and the UK. (more…)

Brexit and IP – looking ahead in 2018

IMG_8533Following 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…)

The Lords consider the UPC: “Where is it?”

IMG_8533With the ongoing UPC related court case in Germany and the uncertainties arising due to Brexit, the preparations for the unitary patent system have, for the moment at least, something of the feel of a dead rubber match in a sporting competition.

Perhaps, once (if?) the German case allows German ratification preparations to continue and the UK has managed to make its intentions clear, the project will get up and running again. Until then any developments have, to my mind at least, the feel of going through the motions.

It was against this backdrop that the House of Lords Grand Committee met on 6 December 2017 to consider the draft Unified Patent Court (Immunities and Privileges) Order 2017. The approval of this Order by the House of Lords and its subsequent approval (along with the corresponding Scottish Order) by the Privy Council are the last pieces of the UK’s ratification process that need to be completed before the UK can formally ratify the UPC Agreement. (more…)

Patents, trade and foreign direct investment in the European Union

euro-2-coin-currency-52965The EPO published a paper last week – Patents, trade and foreign direct investment in the European Union – which assessed “the impact of the European patent system on the circulation of technologies through trade and foreign direct investment in the EU single market”.

The paper contains an interesting discussion on the impact of the patent system on trade and investment, particularly in “high IP” industries such as bio-pharmaceuticals, ICT and medical device industries. However, as far as the discussion about the unitary patent system is concerned the paper glosses over or omits the challenges or drawbacks facing the unitary patent and Unified Patent Court. (more…)

Unified Patent Court: the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end?

IMG_8533-1The unitary patent and UPC are within touching distance of going live. However, recent developments in the UK and Germany potentially put the whole system at risk. So, simply put, where are we now?

When the unitary patent system first came to IPcopy’s attention we were at a conference in Brussels in December 2012 where the keynote speaker from the European Commission suggested that the system would be up and running in just over a year, i.e. Spring 2014. The reality and difficulties of setting up the unified patent court meant that the “go live” date consistently slipped further and further along. Back in August 2013 we had adjusted the expected go live date to “late 2015” and last May, a start date somewhere within 2017 was expected. (more…)

UPC Update – October 2017

IMG_8533-1Autumn has officially arrived and so, as we get stuck into another academic year, IPcopy thought we’d quickly take stock of where we are with the unitary patent project. Since our last update back in July it seems like we’ve had a fair amount of news but little in the way of progress. (more…)

IPcopy is 5! – Our Top 10 posts from the last 5 years

file2611249338382While listening to the radio last week I had cause to feel old when the presenter introduced the next track as celebrating 19 years of airplay. The track in question? Britney Spears’ “Hit Me Baby One More Time”. Unbelievably this was released in 1998 and even more unbelievably it was almost considered for the group Five….

Another  “where has the time gone?” moment came later in the week when our blog notification alert went off to note that IPcopy is five years old. This got us thinking about our most viewed posts and so here are our top 10 patent, trade mark and IP posts from our first five years. (more…)

Unitary Patent Package – The Ratification Game (Lithuania completes its ratification formalities)

EU shirt2Update (25 August 2017)

According to the website of the Council of the European Union, Lithuania has now deposited its instrument of ratification (on 24 August 2017) to become the 14th country to complete its ratification formalities. Lithuania joins Estonia, Italy, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Finland, Portugal, Luxembourg, Malta, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, France and Austria as one of the fourteen countries who have completed their ratification processes.

The unitary patent system requires 13 countries to ratify, including the UK, France and Germany. The EU Referendum in the UK threw the timescale into doubt last year and the Preparatory Committee recently noted that there are some additional hurdles to be overcome before the system can go live, namely securing enough approvals to the Protocol on Provisional Application (PPA) and the resolution to the challenge in the German Constitutional Court. Despite these issues the Preparatory Committee still seem to be working toward the sunrise period at the UPC starting in early 2018.

There are now enough countries to have ratified the unified patent court agreement that the system will come into effect if the UK and Germany complete their own ratification procedures and sufficient approvals to the PPA are obtained.

Now that Lithuania 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!”).

 

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CIPA Seminar: Validity & Infringement Opinions in the UPC Jurisdiction- Episode 6

IMG_8533-1This is another belated IPcopy report of a recent CIPA UPC seminar. This webinar looked at the issue of Infringement and Validity Opinions in the European patent landscape when (if?) the unitary patent scheme comes into effect.

Currently of course providing a pan European I&V opinion means that a bundle of EP patents need to be considered and requires the assessment of different infringement and validity laws in different countries. The seminar, run by Leythem Wall of Finnegan, asked whether UK EPAs* will be able to provide a pan European infringement and validity opinion once the Unified Patent Court opens its doors. (more…)