Representation: How will a European Patent Attorney obtain an independent right to represent clients before the UPC?

According to Article 48(2) of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPC Agreement), European Patent Attorneys (EPAs) who are entitled to act as a professional representative before the European Patent Office (EPO) pursuant to Article 134 of the European Patent Convention (EPC) may represent parties before the Unified Patent Court (UPC), provided they have appropriate qualifications such as a European Patent Litigation Certificate (EPLC).

The wording of this article suggests that EPAs can prove having suitable qualifications by different means, the EPLC being one of them.

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Co-ownership/licensing agreements – Impact of UPCA

The Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (“UPCA”) will have a significant impact on agreements on Patents, especially on co-ownership and licensing agreements.

The Parties to a co-ownership or licensing agreement shall take into account the provisions applicable to European patents with unitary effect (namely Unitary Patents or “UP”) and those applicable to the Unified Patent Court (“UPC”).

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UPC launch in December 2017: dream or reality?

As we have seen, the UK Prime Minister has surprisingly called earlier last week for General Election to take place on 8 June 2017. Authorized by Parliament on 19 April 2017, this Election is likely to freeze the Parliamentary business very soon.

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Last version of the Rules of Procedure – April 2017

The UPC Preparatory Committee published on April 10th, 2017 the last version of the Rules of Procedure, adopted during a meeting on the 15th of March 2017. This presumably final version of the Rules of Procedure clarifies some points that were still vague or incomplete but no significant changes from the previous version of the rules is to be reported; that may be the reason why the Committed decided not to update the title of the Draft Rules which remains the “18th Draft of the Rules of Procedure of the Unified Patent Court”. Here is a summary of the most important changes.

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Get prepared for a breathtaking fall sunrise

In practice, the UPC Agreement setting up the UPC is to enter into force the first day of the fourth month after the deposit of the thirteenth instrument of ratification or accession, including France, Germany and the UK.

As a further unforeseen development of the setting up of the UPC, the United Kingdom voted “Brexit”. This Brexit has become more tangible as the UK has notified withdrawal from the EU under article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union on March 29, 2017.

Despite the great uncertainties created by Brexit, rumors say that the UK is willing to ratify the UPC Agreement in spring 2017. Besides, Germany is apparently prepared to do so in summer 2017. This would trigger start of the UPC at the end of year 2017 or the beginning of year 2018.

Before start of the UPC, these ratifications would trigger immediate entry into force of the Protocol to the UPC Agreement signed by the Contracting Member States on October 1st, 2015.

The UPC has to be fully operable at the date the UPC Agreement enters into force.

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