Posts Tagged: "unitary patent"

EU Unified Patent Court Delays Opening by Two Months

The European Union Unified Patent Court (UPC) announced this week that the court’s Sunrise Period will be delayed by two months. The Sunrise Period has a new planned opening date of March 1, 2023, with the entry into force of the UPC Agreement (UPCA) pushed to June 1, 2023. In an official announcement, Klaus Grabinski, President of the UPC Court of Appeal, and Johannes Karcher, Acting Chairman of the Administrative Committee, said, “the additional time is intended to allow future users to prepare themselves for the strong authentication which will be required to access the Case Management System (CMS) and to sign documents.”

Green Light for Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court

The long-awaited EU Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC) looks likely to be launched in 2022, after Germany’s top court rejected two challenges to ratification on Friday, July 9. In its decision, the Federal Constitutional Court rejected both the applications for preliminary injunction directed against the Act of Approval to ratify the Agreement of February 19, 2013 on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA). (BVerfG, Beschluss des Zweiten Senats vom 23. Juni 2021- 2 BvR 2216/20 -, Rn. 1-81.)

What to Know in the Lead-Up to Brexit and the Unitary Patent System

With a “no-deal” Brexit set to take place this Friday and the Unitary Patent system set to take effect sometime this year, EU patent applicants who want protection in the UK should be aware of the many moving parts to consider. Patent applicants who wish to file for a European patent and receive patent protection in the United Kingdom (UK) should consider whether they want the European patent to have “unitary” effect and be mindful of the UK’s participation in the Unitary Patent system. The UK European Union membership referendum, known commonly as “Brexit,” took place on June 23, 2016. The referendum resulted in a majority of votes in favor of leaving the European Union (EU). A “no-deal” Brexit is set to occur on April 12, 2019 absent of a “new deal” between the UK and EU leaders or an extension.

EPO Patent Applications Grow By 4.6% to Reach New High

There were 174,317 patent applications filed at the European Patent Office in 2018, according to figures in its Annual Report published today (March 12). That represents an increase of 4.6% on 2017, when there were 166,594 applications. The number of patents granted also increased. The EPO published 127,625 granted patents in 2018, up 21% on 2017. U.S. entities are once again the most prominent applicants at the EPO, accounting for 25% of all applications in 2018. The U.S. is followed by Germany (15%), Japan (13%), France (6%) and China (5%). Applications from Germany grew by 4.7%, which the EPO attributed to an upward trend in the automotive sector and related areas, such as sensors and other measuring devices.

EPO ready for the first Unitary Patent as soon as the ratification requirements are met

One of the great aspects of the Unitary Patent is that it follows the normal EPO procedure up to grant. And indeed, the search and the examination processes will be precisely the same as those you’ve been used to with the current EP and PCT procedures, and will be performed by the same examiners. One of the strengths of the EPO is that we allocate examiners to applications according to their technical expertise, regardless of the filing route through which applications arrive. It will only be at the end of the procedure, when the application proceeds to grant, that applicants will have to indicate if they want to have a single Unitary Patent instead of a bundle of patents for individual member states, as is the case for the European patent. So it’s extremely straightforward, cost effective, and much simpler to administer post grant than the current European patent. My impression is that many U.S. applicants already understand the logic and advantages of this very well, sometimes even a little better than European applicants, as the geographical size and the GDP of the market covered by the Unitary Patent is very similar to that of the U.S. patent.

Germany Suspends Requirement of Presidential Signature for Formal Ratification of UPC Agreement

Effective June 11, 2017, the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany has agreed to suspend the Presidential signature required for formal ratification of the UPC Agreement. This suspension will remain in place until the German Federal Constitutional Court (“Bundesverfassungsgericht”) has reached a decision in the ongoing expedited proceedings relating to an action (“Verfassungsbeschwerde”) challenging the ratification.

The To DO List for the Unitary Patent Package

The sunrise period for opting out traditional European patents is planned to start on 1 September 2017. Since such opt-outs will now be done electronically through the UPC case management system, it will take less than a minute to opt out a patent and the opt-out will be on the register immediately… For pending patent applications that are close to grant, the applicants need to decide whether they want to apply for unitary effect and take the necessary preparations, including a request to the EPO not to publish the mention of the grant of the patent prior to 1 December 2017 and filing a request for unitary effect with the EPO during the sunrise period.

Brexit Implications: A decision that will have significant effect on the IP and IT markets

This decision will continue to have a significant effect on the IP/IT market which has been governed by so many EU Regulations and Directives in the past (albeit not exclusively) that intricately bound the UK to the EU. The UK will in due course enter a negotiation period during which laws will be amended and enacted and international agreements will be negotiated. Due to the required notice period, the actual exit date will not be before 2018. The exact fate of the UK is also still up for debate with many options including retaining membership of the EEA only, or joining EFTA, or having a customs-only arrangement with the EU. The implications of this Brexit are currently very uncertain and will, to a large extent, be determined by the model that would be adopted and the terms of any international agreements negotiated.

Brexit and IP Rights: No significant changes in the short term

As is being widely reported in the general press, the UK has voted to exit the European Union. There are many questions about what this decision means to the global economy, but for the intellectual property systems at least, we see no significant changes in the short term.

Brexit: Will it stop the European Unitary Patent before it starts?

As the UK indeed voted for Brexit, the Unitary Patent system will now have to be re-negotiated altogether. The Unitary Patent Regulation states that the Unitary Patent cannot start before the UPC Agreement has been ratified by 13 participating Member States, including the three Member States in which the highest number of European Patents had effect in 2011, i.e. France, Germany and the UK. That alone means that the Unitary Patent must be put on hold now the Brexit referendum has been approved. Indeed, as a non-member of the EU, the UK will not be able to further participate in the Unitary Patent. Without the UK, with its market size and its reputation for patent litigation, the Unitary Patent will lose substantial value.

Brexit: Will it stop the European Unitary Patent before it started?

On 23 June 2016, the British citizens will hold their referendum on the country’s membership in the European Union. Should they vote for the UK to leave the EU (the so-called ‘Brexit’), the new European unitary patent system is likely to collapse before it started… If the UK was to refuse to ratify the European Patent Court Treaty after the exit vote on June 23 2016, the Treaty would also need to be renegotiated so that UK ratification is no longer required for the Treaty’s entry into force. Without such renegotiation, this requirement would only cease to apply when the UK has in fact left the EU.

Mildly bullish on patent market heading into 2016

Ashley Keller: ”I am mildly bullish, because we’re coming from such a low point that it is likely to improve from here. We just talked about the Supreme Court and the willfulness case. I also think that Europe’s unitary patent system is going to be an eye-opener, because it has the potential to be better than our system’s status quo. Competition is a healthy force, and the new system will drive innovation over there. People are going to pay attention to that, and as a consequence, it may improve things over here.”

Italy Brings the European Unitary Patent A Step Closer to Reality, But 3 Hurdles Remain

In October, Italy, one of the last holdouts to the European Unitary Patent, joined the party, leaving Spain and Croatia as the only members of the 28-member European Union (EU) opting out. As the fourth largest market in Europe in terms of population, gross domestic product (GDP) and patent validation, Italy’s reversal is a huge step forward. According to Benoît Battistelli, president of the European Patent Office (EPO), ”Italy’s accession will … render the Unitary Patent more attractive to companies from other European countries and from across the globe.”

Europe sees value in a strong patent system, patent owners ability to enforce patent rights

It is quite surprising to see that with all of the work being done to strengthen the patent systems across Europe with the creation of the Unified Patent Court, we see The Economist recently publishing a number of authorless articles calling for dramatic curtail of patent rights – on the edge of abolishment… We are currently witnessing some patent owners enforcing their patent rights exclusively using the European courts, some of these are companies based in the United States. Now with the Unified Patent Court on the horizon, it is expected that we will see more enforcement actions in London, and Europe more broadly. This again is a clear sign that Europe sees value in a strong patent system and recognizes the importance of a patent owners ability to enforce those rights.

Common currency creates challenges for the unitary patent

With the Euro once again in crisis people look back on the decision to go with the common currency and many people here believe that that was a step too far. That engaging in the expectation that if we do this it will naturally bring us closer together was perhaps way too optimistic. And too risky. And that risking the kind of fiscal instability that we have seen recently in order to push everyone towards a closer political union some people are saying now was a very bad bet to make, without a real supra-national bank and without having first knitted the countries together better politically.