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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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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