Category : Unified Patent Court (UPC)

Unitary Patent – Lithuania Completes Its Ratification Formalities

According to the website of the Council of the European Union, Lithuania has completed its ratification formalities on 24 August 2017. This is the 14th ratification following that of Estonia which joined the unitary patent system on 1 August 2017.

To be complete, the unitary patent system requires 13 ratifications, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom. France is already part of the system since 14 March 2014. However, according to the Preparatory Committee, the United Kingdom and Germany still have some hurdles to overcome before the unitary patent system enters into force (you can see our previous posts on the situation in the UK and Germany)

Still, the Preparatory Committee is confident that the UPC will come into force around January 2018.

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5th conference on the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court

The 5th conference on the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court, organized annually by Premier Cercle in association with the EPO, was held in Munich on July 5, 2017.

First, an overview over the state of advancement of the implementation of the Unitary Patent and the UPC from a technical, legal and financial point of view was given by a member of the Committee in charge of the Implementation of the Unitary Patent Protection. It appears that the implementation is completed at all levels, and that the system is ready to launch as soon as the ratification process has been completed.

This overview was followed by a discussion on the selection of the judges for the UPC. The first round of selection is now completed and 236 candidates were selected among initially 841. These candidates will now be interviewed individually to select a total of 100 judges, among which 50 technically qualified judges and 50 legally qualified judges. The overall impression conveyed by the Chairman of the Advisory Panel on the Selection and Training of Judges for the Unified Patent Court, Sir Robin Jacob, was that the quality of the candidates was very promising.

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UPDATE ON THE UK RATIFICATION OF THE UPC

The process of ratification of the UPC by the UK seems to be back on track, following the recent UK elections.

Orders on Privileges and Immunities for the Unified Patent Court were laid in Parliament under the International Organisations Act 1968 today (Click Here and Click Here). Separate legislation will be laid in the Scottish Parliament in due course. The Orders are affirmative orders, which means they will be debated in each House of Parliament. Separately the Scottish Order will be debated in the Scottish Parliament. They will also require Privy Council approval.

Once this legislation has been passed the UK will be able to formally ratify the UPC Agreement. This is the final legislative step in the UK’s ratification of the Unified Patent Court.

Alexander Ramsay, the preparatory committee Chairman also released an update (Link to Unified Patent Court Website) concerning the progress made by the UK and Estonia towards ratification of the UPC. The latest development in the UK is considered by the Committee as a “firm intent and commitment on the road to ratification” while Estonia is also taking the last steps towards formal ratification.

However, it should not be forgotten that three additional approvals of the PPA including Germany are still necessary in order for the provisional period to begin. The Chairman is hopeful the situation regarding the constitutional complaint in Germany will be resolved rather quickly and therefore [he is] hopeful that the period of provisional application can start during the autumn 2017 which would mean that the sunrise period for the opt out procedure would start early 2018 followed by the entry into force of the UPCA and the UPC becoming operational.”

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The Legal Framework of the Order to preserve evidence (Saisie) before the UPC

Although the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (“UPC Agreement”) provides a broad and non-limited list of means to give and obtain evidence (Article 59) it seems to give a key role to the order to preserve evidence provided by Article 60 that aims at granting prompt and effective provisional measures to preserve relevant evidence in respect of the alleged infringement.

Rules of procedure of the Unified Patent Court No.192 to 198 (“Rules of Procedure”), provide with further details relating to the requirements and implementation of these measures for preserving evidence.

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Service of written pleadings, orders, decisions and other documents before the UPC

An action according to Article 32(1) of the UPC Agreement is introduced when the plaintiff lodges a corresponding Statement or Application at the UPC Registry (Rule 4 RoP). Then, Chapter 2 of Part 5 of the Rules of Procedure (RoP) provides for a number of provisions related to the service by the Registry of all documents related to this action (Rule 6 RoP). This Chapter 2 (Rules 270-279 RoP) is subdivided in four sections.

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