15 February 2012

Unitary Patent: EU Authorities increasingly frustrated while some hope for the Danes and others prefer Fisheries

One of the hot topics we closely follow on ksnh::law is the development of the Unitary Patent (cf. EU Regulation) and the Unified Patent Court System (cf. Draft UPC Agreement) in Europe and the related discussion among politicians, experts, practitioners and system users.

Only recently we summarised the current situation in two larger articles:

Basically, what happened is that the speed and rush, as critisised by some observers (e.g. FICPI, CIPA) had been taken out of the legislative process, as an official statement issued after an informal financial EU Council meeting on 30 Januars 2012 clarified that
The participating Member States commit to reaching at the latest in June 2012 a final agreement on the last outstanding issue in the patent package.
That is, the hopes appear now to be placed in the mediative abilities of the Danish EU Presidency under Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt as to convince Angela Merkel and David Cameron (and, should he remain in power, Nicolas Sarcozy) to save the project by a more pragmatic attitudes at the top flight of EU executives.

In line with this, it turned out in mid January that the EU Parliaments's Legal Affair's Committee (JURI)
JURI has decided to postpone the EU Parliament’s long-standing first plenary session on the EU Patent Package (cf. minutes of the JURI meeting of 19/20 Dec 2011, PE478.655v01-00):
The Chair [i.e. Mr. Klaus-Heiner Lehne (DE, EPP), Rapporteur for UPCA] stated that, whilst the committee was able to vote on the three patent procedures, there would be no vote in plenary until an agreement had been reached on a seat for the relevant EU body.
In fact, instead of any debates on Unitary Patent Protection, a Fisheries debate was held on 14 February 2012. That might by a meed much.

For a more complete picture on what is going on in this particular field of EU politics, you may refer to the two above-referenced articles [1, 2] which, inter alia, relate to the following issues:
  • the political story so far and the efforts of stakeholders
  • the EPO's attitude towards patenting costs
  • the seat of the Central Division of the UPC
  • the present political situation within the European Union
  • the role of Angela Merkel and David Cameron 
  • Munich versus London
  • the hearings of the Scrutiny Committee of the UK House of Commons
  • JURI's recommendations for the postponed plenary voting