Inspired by several Finnish companies, like many other interest groups, having expressed their concern regarding the level of renewal fees of the Unitary Patent, I thought of writing about a slightly different protection regime that provides not only fast but also low-cost protection for technical inventions, namely, utility models. First I have a question for all of you interested in IP enforcement and interim injunctions: do you think that interim injunctions in cases involving utility models should be granted on grounds and standards different to those applicable to patents? If you do not have a view on this, see what the Finnish Market Court considers and as we will see the main emphasis [...]
Spain will not change its mind and join the Unitary Patent package, now that the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has dismissed its legal challenges of the patent package, laid out in the EU Regulations 1257/2012 and 1260/2012 and the UPC Agreement. This is the expectation of the Confederation of Employers and Industries of Spain (CEOE). Spanish industry is much better off outside the system, according to the CEOE, which answered questions by Kluwer IP Law. ‘All Spanish companies will be able to use the system without suffering from the disadvantages.’
Over the last years, the Spanish government has always opposed the new Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent system. Would [...]
An EPO board held that observations filed by third parties during inter parte appeal must be disregarded by the board, unless they concern amendments during opposition or appeal, in which case the board had discretion whether or not to consider the observations in the examination of the amendments. Also when a party to the appeal took position on third party facts and evidence, the board had to exercise its discretion. In contrast, EPO policy required opposition divisions to take position on the relevance of the third party observations in any case, treating them like late filed submissions.
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.
In March 2015 the European Patent Office presented two proposals to the Select Committee for the level of renewal fees of the future Unitary Patent. The proposals were presented as the “Top 4” and “Top 5” models, i.e. equivalent to the national renewal fees of the 4, respectively 5 Member States where European patents are most frequently validated. Currently, these Member States are Germany, France, Great Brittan, the Netherlands and Sweden. The top 5 model contained a 25% fee reduction for SMEs during the first 10 years.
However, the two models only corresponded to the actual renewal fees in the top 4-5 Member States after year 10. For the years 3-5, the EPO had proposed to set the [...]
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
On 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 [...]