Monday, 10 March 2014

No agreement on language in new draft Rules of Procedure for Unified Patent Court

The Preparatory Committee has released a new draft of the "Preliminary set of provisions for the Rules of Procedure (“Rules”) of the Unified Patent Court".  Along with the new draft, a 201 pages long digest was published. The digest details the comments received along with the changes made to the previous draft, if any, that were made in response. If anything they make clear that the committee has carefully considered all suggestions.

This 16th draft will be discussed later in 2014 at an oral hearing held by the Legal Group, which will also seek input of users on the amendments to the text.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

First regional division of Unified Patent Court announced

The unified patent court agreement allows participating member states three choices: having no court at all, having a local court, or joining with other states and setting up a regional court. According to EU Commissioner Barnier, Sweden, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have announced that they will from a regional division of the Unified Patent Court (UPC).
For a while there have been rumors that a Nordic court was in the making. However, the plans of Denmark to hold a referendum on the question of they will participate in the unitary patent disturbed that. Apparently, Sweden and the Baltic states have decided not to wait for the outcome of the Danish referendum in May, and have gone ahead with their own plans.  I wonder what the position of Finland is. Will they they opt for a local court or wait to join up with Denmark should they join the unitary patent?

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Amendment to Brussels I removes legal roadblock for unitary patent

If the unitary patent becomes a reality, there will be a new court: the Unified Patent Court (UPC). Currently,  recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil matters throughout the EU is regulated by the  “Brussels I Regulation”.  Judgments of the new UPC court should also be recognized among all EU member states, and thus Brussels I needed revision.

A proposal of the EU commission had been voted on by the European Parliament's legal affairs committee (JURI) two weeks ago. This cleared the way for formal approval. Both the Member States and the European Parliament need to approve the current proposal.

Today, 04.03.2014, the Council of the European Union has endorsed the amended text for the Brussels I regulation. 

Only the European Parliament has yet to approve it. Given the fact that their own commission was involved in reaching the text, this shouldn't be a problem. 

Apart from the 10 additional ratifications that are needed, this leaves only one potential legal roadblock for adoption of the unitary patent: Spain's legal challenges against the 'closer cooperation' used for the unitary patent regulations are still pending with the Court of Justice.

I understand from a press release of JURI that the Commission's text was amended. I was not able to find the text of the amended proposal. Should you know where to find it, drop me a line.