Sunday, March 02, 2014

The Approaching European Union Unified Patent System via a Unitary Patent and a Unified Patent Court: Developments: Justice and Home Affairs Council 3-4 March 2014 in Brussels to Cover Legal Gaps

What is the deal on patent reform developments in the European Union?

One of the items on the agenda of the Justice and Home Affairs Council 3-4 March 2014 in Brussels is the filling of legal gaps for unitary patent protection  (EUROPA PRESS RELEASE):
"5. Filling the legal gaps for unitary patent protection
The European Commission proposed, on 29 July, 2013 to complete the legal framework for Europe-wide patent protection by updating EU rules on the jurisdiction of courts and recognition of judgements (the so-called “Brussels I Regulation”). The changes will prepare the way for a specialised European patent court – the Unified Patent Court – to enter into force once ratified, making it easier for companies and inventors to protect their patents (IP/13/750).
What is expected at this Council? The Greek Presidency will inform the Council about the agreement reached with the European Parliament a few weeks ago (see MEMO/14/101), allowing the adoption of the proposed Regulation at first reading.
Commission position: The Commission welcomes the progress achieved in the Council and European Parliament on this important proposal. A positive vote by the European Parliament at its April plenary session will pave the way for the entry into force of the 'Patents package', a regulatory framework which is crucial for innovation in the European Union (IP/11/470).
Background: At present, someone seeking to obtain Europe-wide protection for their invention has to validate European patents in all 28 EU Member States. The patent holder may become involved in multiple litigation cases in different countries on the same dispute. But this will change in the near future thanks to the agreement on the unitary patent package. The Unified Patent Court – established under an agreement signed on 19 February 2013 (PRES/13/61) – will simplify procedures and lead to quicker decisions, with just one court case before the specialised court instead of parallel litigation in national courts. The Agreement relies upon the “Brussels I Regulation” (Regulation 1215/2012) to determine international jurisdiction of the Unified Patent Court."
Several websites and blogs offer an opportunity to keep up on the approaching European Unified Patent System, originally scheduled to launch this year in April, but now delayed for various reasons. See:
  • Wikipedia - European Union Patent with EU patent map and details:

    • "The European Union patent (EU patent), formally European patent with unitary effect, also known as the unitary patent, Community patent, European Community Patent, or EC patent and sometimes abbreviated as COMPAT, is a proposed patent legislation in the European Union.... The provisions will apply once the related Agreement on a Unified Patent Court, which was signed by all EU member states except Croatia, Poland and Spain, enters into force, on or after 1 January 2014.
    • The proposed EU patent is closely related, but different from the European patent, which is granted under the 38-state European Patent Convention...."

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