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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…)

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…)

CIPA Seminar: Getting Legal with the Unitary patent and how to get it – Episode 5

IMG_8533-1The CIPA UP/UPC series continued in June with episode 5, “Getting Legal with the Unitary patent and how to get it” presented by Chris Mercer. A slightly belated IPcopy summary of the seminar follows…

As for the earlier entries in the series the opening of the seminar provided a recap of the basics of the unitary patent system. IPcopy won’t go over these again here but refers interested readers to our earlier posts on this lecture series here.

This seminar took a bit of a deeper dive into the rules and regulations relating to the unitary patent system and so, as well as references to the two unitary patent regulations (1257/2012 and 1260/2012) and the Unified Patent Court Agreement, we also got a look at the Rules relating to Unitary Patent Protection (UPR) and the Rules relating to Fees for Unitary Patent Protection. There was also some time spent looking at the EP Patent Register and the changes that are to be made there to accommodate European patents with unitary effect.

IPcopy has summarised some of the points that caught our eye: (more…)

UPC: Summer Recess Update

The UK Parliament is now on its summer recess until September which seems like a good time for a brief update on some unitary patent related bits and bobs from the last couple of weeks. (more…)

CIPA Seminar: How will the unitary patent affect your patent strategy? – Episode 4

IMG_8533-1Episode 4 of the CIPA series on the unitary patent system looked at factors that might impact an applicant’s patent strategy. This entry into the CIPA UPC series covered some similar ground to the first three seminars and so we’ve tried to represent the main points in the table below. This session was notable for the extended Q&A session (which IPcopy personally enjoyed) which, in our view, suggested that there may still be some misunderstandings over how the unitary patent system will work in practice. Some of the themes from the Q&A are also discussed below along with a few other titbits of information.

The speaker, Dave Croston of Withers & Rogers, pointed out that the webinar would not be an algorithm that you could plug factors into in order to develop a patent strategy. Neither would it be an exhaustive look at all strategy based points. Rather the seminar aimed to provide a headline look at a number of the issues. (more…)

UPC: UK/DE Ratification update and new version of CMS expected soon

DDZiBDkXYAAgvPY (1)We’ve had some developments of sorts over the last week as far as ratification progress for the UK and Germany is concerned. A new version of the Case Management System for the UPC is also expected to arrive shortly. (more…)

Further delays for the Unitary patent system

IMG_8533The Unified Patent Court website announced last week that the target date for the entry into force of the UPC is going to be delayed (the date being targeted was 1 December 2017).

As noted in the announcement the entry into force date was subject to a number of factors such as completing the required number of national ratification procedures and getting enough countries to participate in the Protocol on Provisional Application. A new timetable is expected to be published soon. (more…)