Category : Unified Patent Court (UPC)

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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German Court delays UPC Ratification

The German Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) has delayed the ratification of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement (http://www.lto.de/recht/nachrichten/n/bverfg-stoppt-eu-einheits-patent-verfassungsbeschwerde/) as became known today.

The Constitutional Court has asked the Federal President of Germany to put the process of ratification on hold following a constitutional complaint filed by a private person. The Office of the Federal President informed the court that the process was “suspended” following the request. The constitutional complaint relates to the law ruling the Unified Patent Court, but as the two are closely related, the entry into force of the Unitary Patent has also been put on hold.

At this point, Germany and the UK have not yet ratified the UPC Agreement, which requires 13 signatories including those two countries plus France before the UPC can be launched.

Now, concerns have been raised that Germany will not be able to ratify the protocol on the provisional application for quite some time.

Those events will probably have a significant impact on the entry into operation of the entire UPC package.

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UPC – Timetable Update

The UPC’s Preparatory Committee released an update (https://www.unified-patent-court.org/news/upc-timetable-update-june-2017 ) yesterday confirming the expected delays for the entry into operation of the UPC Agreement.

The Committee confirms that the entry into operation of the UPC will not take place in December 2017 as predicted, due to delays in several countries, especially in England, concerning the finalisation of national procedures for the ratification of the UPC Agreement and the participation in the Protocol on Provisional Application.

We monitor the issuance of the new timetable that the Committee is to publish.

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