Germany has unfortunately no Fordham conference where an impressive number of eminent IP scholars, judges and practitioners, including even representatives of the EPO, get together once every year to discuss the state of the patent universe and future developments. However, Germany does luckily at least have its Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition in…

A new president of the European Patent Organisation, the person who will succeed the controversial president Benoît Battistelli in June 2018, will be chosen this autumn. That is the expectation of Martijn van Dam, Dutch secretary of state for Economic Affairs. Van Dam said this in a debate last week with parliament on the ‘deteriorating…

by Steven Willis Given the furore surrounding Birss J’s decision on the non-technical issues in Unwired Planet v Huawei earlier this month, which included the first determination of FRAND terms by an English Court (reported on by my colleague Rachael here), it would have been easy to miss the first appellate Court judgment on the…

by Nicholas Round At the start of this month, the UK Supreme Court took a break from its recent post-Brexit work interpreting (and developing) constitutional principles to hear an intellectual property matter. This rare Supreme court foray for a patent produced a ripple of excitement across the UK IP litigation community not least because (uniquely…

The duration of proceedings before the Boards of Appeal (BoA) currently is the EPO’s biggest problem in regard to speed. According to the latest Annual Report by the Boards of Appeal, the average length of inter partes proceedings is 37 months (up 1 month from 2015), i.e. more than three years. In 2016, two appeals…

Early certainty in opposition proceedings is clearly a desirable objective, and the President’s commitment to lowering the average duration of (normal) opposition proceedings to 15 months on the average deserves praise. In our experience, the new commitment has already started to result in that the summons to oral proceedings are issued sooner and that the…

How long should proceedings before the EPO ideally take? Admittedly, this is a tricky question because various stakeholders will usually have different interests and thoughts as to what the “right” or “ideal” speed is. Let us tackle this question by beginning with a simple distinction. I posit that the answer depends considerably on whether the…

The Dutch Government has warned the social situation at the EPO will have to improve soon. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has complained it is not acceptable that over half of the workload of its Tribunal is generated by complaints filed against the European Patent Office. Parliaments in Germany and France have called for action…

Since the UK announced it wants to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement despite the Brexit vote (last week the new IP minister of the UK, Jo Johnson, repeated the announcement of his predecessor Baroness Neville-Rolfe), preparations for the system have restarted in full, despite the fact that a British membership brings about uncertainty. Prof….