Friday, 29 March 2013

Voting at the Select Committee

The member states to the unitary patent have set up a Select Committee of the Administrative Council of the EPO.

First point on the agenda is the rules of procedure. The regulations of the council of the EU do not provide much guidance on this point except to make explicit that decisions shall be taken in ´accordance with the rules laid down in Article 35(2) of the EPC´.

Article 35 EPC gives the voting rules of the Administrative Council. Decision according to paragraph 1 require a simple majority, those according to paragraph 2 a majority of three-quarters, and those according to paragraph 3 require unanimity.

I am not really sure what in ´accordance with the rules laid down in Article 35(2) of the EPC´ means. Does it mean that all decision of the Select Committee require a 3/4 majority or only those decision that are analogous to the types of decisions given in A.35(2) EPC? The latter includes by the way the currently important points: fees and implementing regulations. 

Thursday, 28 March 2013

First meeting of the Select Committee

One of the open questions regarding the unitary patent is related to its cost. Although, the regulations give a number of constraints regarding the fees, the actual fee levels aren't know yet.

The level of the renewal fees for a unitary patent and how the incoming funds will be divided over the participating states will be determined by the so-called ‘Select Committee’.

The EPO has announced that the select committee had its first meeting on Wednesday March 20, 2013 in Munich.

For not the Select Committee is discussing its rules of procedure. I noticed that the Select Committee did not show up yet in EPO's page of the Administrative Council.