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The UK and UPC: is the UK trying to have its cake and eat it?

GB+EU flagIs the UK serious about ratifying the UPC Agreement?

Last week the UK announced at an EU Competitiveness Council meeting that it was proceeding with preparations to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA). This announcement was greeted with some surprise but seemed to be generally viewed as “a good thing”: the unitary patent system could get back on track, the UK and Germany could ratify the agreement and we might see the first unitary patents rolling off the production line some time in the back half of 2017.

There was, however, some cynicism expressed online with some commentators pointing out that the official announcement is, when you really look at it, pretty light on actual detail1.

Now, I’m not one to shy away from a good healthy dose of cynicism but I thought the announcement was actually heralding the restarting of the ratification process. However, I’ve recently heard some background to the announcement which has made me wonder – “Is the UK trying to have its cake and eat it?” (more…)

UK to continue with the Unitary Patent System despite Brexit Referendum result

IMG_8533-1The UK is to continue participation in the unitary patent system by ratifying the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement.

Following rumours that have been circulating since last week, the UK confirmed yesterday, at an EU Competitiveness Council meeting, that it will continue with its preparations for ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement. This announcement seemingly gets the unitary patent system back on track and a start date at some point during 2017 once again seems a possibility.

The full announcement from the UK government can be found here and is also reproduced at the end of this post. In this post, IPcopy takes a closer look at what was said, what needs to happen next and then speculates what might happen post-Brexit. (more…)

Shining a light under Europe’s patent troll bridge

Troll_Bridge_by_BlazeTwoeThe European Commission’s science and knowledge service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) carries out research with the aim of providing independent scientific advice and support to EU policies. The JRC has released a Science for Policy Report that looks at “Patent Assertion Entities in Europe”. (more…)

Brexit: Labour’s 170 Questions for the Government

brexit-1481028_1920The Labour Party released a set of 170 Brexit related questions last week to cover each day between 13 October 2016 and the Article 50 notification deadline announced by the Prime Minister at the Conservative Party conference, 31 March 2017.

IPcopy took a quick look at the questions to see whether any were IP themed ones and, if there were any such questions, how far down the list these came.

We found references to the unitary patent system and also to geographical indications. (more…)

Did Theresa May just end UK participation in the UPC?

IMG_8533-1A couple of weeks ago we wrote about an opinion from Richard Gordon QC and Tom Pascoe of Brick Court Chambers about the UK’s potential continued participation in the unitary patent system.

The authors’ view was that it would be legally possible for the UK to continue subject to certain safeguards being in place. They did however note that the unitary patent and UPC raised “significant political as well as legal issues”.

So, the legal flesh seemed willing, would the political will be strong or weak? (more…)

UPC Update – September 2016

IMG_8533While the uncertainty over the UK’s participation in the unitary patent project remains, preparations for the unitary patent system continue. In the last week or so there have been a couple of updates related to Italian participation in the scheme. (more…)

Brexit and the Uncertainty Principle Conundrum (UPC)

GB+EU flagSince 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…)

IPcopy’s Summer Summary 2016

sunglassesThe 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…)

Brexit – IP Myths and Misconceptions 2

brexit-1481028_1920IPcopy 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…)

Brexit – IP Myths and Misconceptions

brexit-1481028_1920As 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…)