23 December 2011

Initialling Ceremony for Unified Patent Court Omitted, Danish Presidency will take Over

In a posting on ksnh::law titled "EU Patent Package: JURI has Spoken, But What did it Say?" we report on what - presumably - has happened in the JURI meeting on December 20, in which the EU Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee voted on the three separate resolutions/agreements of the so called 'EU Patent Package', i.e.

  • Enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection (JURI/7/05848).
  • Enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection with regard to the applicable translation arrangements (JURI/7/05847).
  • Jurisdictional system for patent disputes (JURI/7/06168).
As this press release later reported that JURI "backed a political deal struck last 1 December between Parliament and Council negotiators on the so-called 'EU patent package', questions were asked by observers, as to what Regulation and Draft Agreement JURI actually voted on, since the Competitive Council meeting on December 5 failed at least over a dispute between Great Britain and Germany (and maybe also France) as to the question of the seat of the Central Division of the future Unified Patent Court, so that there simply is no ‘EU Patent Package’ that the EU Council agreed on and JURI is satisfied with, due to the issues left unresolved at the December 5th's Competitiveness Council meeting (see earlier ksnh::law posts [1], [2], [3]).

We thus raised the point that the drafts were voted on yesterday are presumably the same that well-mandated JURI rapporteurs (Bernhard Rapkay, Raffaele Baldassarre, Klaus-Heiner Lehne) carried into the back-room negotiations with the Council on December 1 (see press release) in preparation of the December 5 Competitiveness Council metting (see here). 

Further to this, well-connected anti-software-patent campaigner @gibus aiming at putting an "EU flag into EPO" - i.e. to prevent that settled EPO case law on patent-eligibility of software-implemented inventions will be applicable to the future Unitary Patent - explained in a comment on our posting
So, what has been voted by JURI on Tuesday, was only what has been agreed with the Council in trilogue. No other amendment has been accepted (including Wikström/EPLAW/Jacob amendments to delete arts 6-9 from the regulation). Even amendements suggested and voted by ITRE committee for opinion have not been incuded. (for eg. ITRE Am. 11 recalling that the “rights conferred by the European patent with unitary effect shall accord with rights conferred by the Treaties and Union law”, which is something the regulation cannot escape) have been rejected.
But at least one thing is clear, the Warsaw initialling ceremony to finalise the text of the Agreement, as announced by the Polish Presidency for December 22 (see here), was quitely omitted and the incomming Danish Presidency will now take over. 

As noticed in this tweet under @ksnhlaw, a fact sheet summarising the Priorities of the Danish Presidency announces that
[a] second objective of the Danish Presidency [after economics and finance] will be to continue the development of the single market in order to achieve its full growth potential. [...] The Danish Presidency intends to work to move the twelve key initiatives set out in the Single Market Act forward as far as possible. Special emphasis will be on the directives on public procurement, the standardisation package, revision of the accounting standards, the venture capital proposal the common European Patent system and better enforcement of the posting of workers directive. [...].