by Wouter Pors, Bird & Bird The Hague On 10 April 2017 the UPC Preparatory Committee published the ‘final’ version of the 18th draft of the Rules of Procedure, as adopted during the committee meeting of 15 March 2017. This is still a draft, since only the Administrative Committee can really adopt the Rules of…

The Preparatory Committee for the Unified Patent Court has published a new version of the draft Rules of Procedure. According to the Committee, the draft ‘is yet to come under scrutiny by the European Commission on the compatibility of the Rules of Procedure with Union law and will be subject to formal adoption by the…

In an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding challenging a SimpleAir patent that described a method of transmitting data to remote computing devices, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board did not err in concluding that IPR petitioner Google failed to establish that a combination of prior art references rendered the challenged claims unpatentably obvious, the U.S….

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…

The German Federal Council, the Bundesrat approved draft legislation to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement and to amend German patent law in its 31 March session. It means the German procedure to ratify the UPCA nears completion. The Parliament, the Bundestag, had already given its approval on 9 March 2017. In order to finalize…

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 UK will ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) in March, most likely before the Brexit article 50 is triggered.’ It was only last month this scenario was described by the UPC Preparatory Committee during a conference in Amsterdam. By now, we know this has been overly optimistic, but is it a problem for the…

Spain will not join the Unitary Patent system. That became clear today during a session of the Spanish parliament. Earlier this month, the parliamentary committee for economics, industry and competitiveness had approved a motion of the socialist party PSOE, requesting the government to reconsider joining the system. Only the Popular Party, which runs the minority…