21 October 2011

Will the Unified EU Patent Court be Situated in Munich, or rather Warsaw?

Our today's article on the ksnh::law blog speculates a bit about whether or not the Unified Patent Court may go East, e.g. to Warsaw, Poland.

An example of such a decision on where to locate may be seen in the purely political decision in the 1990s that the new Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) should reside in Alicante, Spain - instead of the the much better prepared London - since it simply was Spain's turn to receive a major EU institution.

In a couple of month's time, we will see the decision on where the first instance Central Division and the second instance Appeal Court of the EU Unitary Patent Court System will be located.

Like London in case of the OHIM, this time Munich would from a pragmatic point of view be an excellent - if not the best - location in the EU, since this city has qualified (legal) judges, experienced technical judges, the German Federal Patent Court (Bundespatentgericht), the Eurpean Patent Office, the independent EPO Boards of Appeal, the renowned Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law, and last but not least plenty of patent law organisations and firms within its borders that all play their role in an active and professional IP scene.

However, the same kind of political vote that installed the OHIM in Alicante would now rather select a large and influencial country that does not have EU institution yet, for example – Poland

But this time it might be different, since Warsaw alredy was discussed as location of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO, once they obtain their organisatorical autonomy. In the end, the Boards of Appeal remained where they were, in Munich, since the Members of the Boards of Appeal refused to move from cosy Munich to unknown Warsaw. What can be learned from this example is that the potential Members of the new Court, i.e. legal and technical judges of well-respected national patent courts will have their say - and many of those potetial Members will definitely come from Munich, especially from the Federal Patent Court (Bundespatentgericht) and the EPO Boards of Appeal, since the new Unified EU Patent Court will be competent for both the European patent according to the EPC and the new EU patent with unitary effect.

08 October 2011

EU Document 14191/11: Compatibility Check of Unified Patent Court Draft against EU Regulations

In  the articles titled "Compatibility Of Draft Agreement On Unified Patent Court with EU acquis" on the ksnh::law IP blog, we report that Axel's individual request regarding public access to EU Council Document 14191/11 titled "Compatibility of the draft agreement on the Unified Patent Court with the Union acquis" (download here) has been accepted by the General Secretariat. 

The document reveals that the Commission services have checked the compatibility of the draft agreement on the Unified Patent Court (UPC) against an number of EU Regulations, Directives and Conventions and found that essentially only the relationship between the Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (Brussels I) and the UPC Draft needs to be clarified in a particular way.

07 October 2011

Unitary Patent will not Lower Patent Prosecution Costs by the Promised Amounts

In a new article titled "Will the Unitary Patent Really Lower Costs for Applicants by up to 70% ?", the IP law blog ksnh::law reports on the fact that this full-bodied announcement of the President of the EPO, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services, Michel Barnier, is not realistic and only political PR language. 

In fact, Mr. Battistelli made clear earlier this year that there will be no change of the EPO's overall fee level only for the EU patent, so that significant cost savings can only be expected in the post-grant phase. Consequently, it is not any more desired that patent APPLICANTS profit from the promised cost savings but rather patent PROPRIETORS who decide to enforce their granted patent – i.e. a vanishing minority of all patentees.