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EPO: R2/14, European Patent Office, Enlarged Board of Appeal, ECLI:EP:BA:2015:R000214.20150217, 17 February 2015

A panel of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) of the EPO rejected a request to replace the EBA chairman for suspected partiality. The reasons for allowing such a request in decision R19/12 had since been removed because the chairman had discontinued all his managerial activities in the senior management committees of the EPO. Under the new circumstances it remained for the chairman to judge in each individual case to preserve a balance between his potentially conflicting judicial duties and his duties as vice-president of the EPO. Until proven otherwise, the chairman was presumed thus to avoid partiality.

A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law.

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A view on Unified Patent Court predictability: uncertainty is no reason to opt out, wait and see

Concerns that inexperienced judges will do unpredictable or crazy things at the Unified Patent Court are exaggerated, according to Bird & Bird partner Wouter Pors. Last month he gave a lecture to future UPC judges at the Budapest Training Centre as part of a week of training on the issue of infringement. He wrote this guest post for Kluwer IP Law.

By Wouter Pors

unified patent courtOn 5 May the Court of Justice rejected the Spanish appeals against the two Regulations relating to the Unitary Patent, which removed the last hurdle for the start of both the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court. Proposals for Unitary Patent renewal fees and for Court fees have meanwhile been published. There is still a lot of [...]

‘Opt-out fee for future Unified Patent Court is (unsurprisingly) much too high’

The €80 opt-out fee for the Unified Patent Court (UPC) as proposed by the Preparatory Committee will be a very heavy burden for hard-pressed patent departments.  They are being asked to pay a significant fee for NOT using the new system. ’How perverse can this be?’ says Bristows partner Alan Johnson in answer to questions by Kluwer IP Law about the consultation document on UPC fees, which was published last week.

‘The worst (but least surprising) proposal is the opt-out fee of €80. Many users are looking forward to the new system and will not opt out their existing European patent portfolio.  But it is a cornerstone of the agreement that they are entitled to do so.  Hence levyin [...]

Italy wants to join the Unitary Patent

In an important change of position and influenced by the CJEU’s rejection of the Spanish challenge, Italy has announced it wants to join the enhanced cooperation within the European Union to create the Unitary Patent.

vlag italie kleinThis has been reported by various sources. According to the website of the Società Italiana Brevetti (SIB), Undersecretary Simona Vicari of the Italian Economy Ministry declared yesterday that joining the Unitary Patent is a priority for her ministry. ‘After the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 5 May that dismissed Spain’s appeal, we have the confirmation that the legal framework of the Unitary Patent package is not in question’,  Ms. Vicari said.

T [...]

A sneak preview of today’s CJEU judgments on the Unitary Patent Package

As announced by the Kluwer UPC News blogger earlier today, this morning the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) published its two judgments in cases C-146/13 and C-147/13 where, as expected, it has dismissed the nullity actions filed by the Kingdom of Spain (“Spain”) against Council Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012 (unitary patent) and Council Regulation (EU) No 1260/2012 (translation arrangements). What follows is our two cents after a quick reading of the decisions:

 I.              JUDGMENT ON CASE C-146/13 (UNITARY PATENT)

 1.             Lack of jurisdictional control over the EPO’s decisions:

In short, the Court, following Advocate General Bot, has co [...]

Boost for Unitary Patent Package: CJEU dismisses Spanish challenge

The European Court of Justice (CJEU) has just rejected Spain’s challenge of the Regulations No 1260/2012 and No 1257/2012.

The eagerly awaited decision in the cases C-146/13 and C-147/13, implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection, means an important obstacle for the creation of the Unified Patent Court and the Unitary Patent has been removed.

According to the CJEU’s press release, in Case C-146/13, Regulation (EU) No 1257/2012 ‘Spain contests (inter alia) the legality, in the light of EU law, of the administrative procedure preceding the grant of a European patent. It argues that that procedure is not subject to judicial review to ensu [...]

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