Thursday, 5 November 2015

Reading Material for Unitary Patent: Articles, Rules and drafts

Not much case law for UPC yet

As the unified patent court and the EPO are preparing for the start of the unitary patent, the amount of rules is increasing. At the moment, I count ten documents with articles and rules that will govern the unitary patent and unified patent court. In this post I'll try to make a comprehensive list of the primary sources on the unitary patent. 

EU level regulations

At the EU level there are two regulations. These regulation dating from 2012 establish among other things the unitary effect, applicable law, and translations agreements. Below I have also included the decision from 2011 that allowed is the unitary patent to proceed without Spain and Italy. (Although Italy has joined later after all.)

Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 December 2012 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection.
The document is available at Eur-lex.
Status: final

Council Regulation (EU) No 1260/2012 of 17 December 2012 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection with regard to the applicable translation arrangements.
The document is available at Eur-Lex.
Status: final

2011/167/EU: Council Decision of 10 March 2011 authorising enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection.
The document is available at Eur-Lex.
Status: final


Unified Patent Court

The unified patent court is established in the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court. This agreement between EU members has been signed by most of EU member states but is not yet fully ratified. The agreement established the unified patent court (UPC) and its competency. Detailed rules for procedures at the UPC are in a semi-final draft, but cannot be established before the court has been established. A proposal for court fees is available. Recently a protocol was created for the agreement which allows some provision of the agreement to enter into force before the rest of the agreement.

Agreement on a Unified Patent Court
The document is available at the website of the Council of the European Union.
Status: Ratified by 8 member states, awaits the ratification by 5 more states which must include Germany and the United Kingdom.

Preliminary set of provisions for the Rules of Procedure (“Rules”) of the Unified Patent Court
The document is available at the website of the unified patent court.
Status: 18th draft, Adopted by the Preparatory Committee on 19 October 2015. Must be adopted by the Administrative Committee of the UPC, which does not exist yet.

Rules on Court fees and recoverable costs
The document is available at the website of the unified patent court. 
Status: Draft (Consultation Document)

Protocol to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court on provisional application
The document is available at the website of the unified patent court.
Status: Signed by 7 participating member states, does not enter into force until 13 States have informed the depositary that they have received parliamentary approval for the UPC

EPO

The legal basis for the unitary patent is found in the EPC (Articles 142-149a).

European Patent Convention
The document is available (pdf) at the website of the EPO.
Status: final

Draft Rules 1–24 relating to unitary patent protection
The document is available (pdf) at the documentation page at the EPO of the Select Committee
Status: Draft



Adjusted proposals for the level of renewal fees for European patents with unitary effect
The document can be found here. I do not have an official link.
Status: Draft? ('adopted in principle' by the Select Committee)

Photo "Leather Bound Books" by THOR obtained via Flickr  under a  CC-By license

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