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04.28.16

Amid Referendum “the New European Unitary Patent System is Likely to Collapse Before It Started”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Trojan horse

Summary: The Unitary Patent Court (UPC) vision seems like it may be just one month away from its gradual death, depending on British voices amongst other key factors

Ericsson used to make decent phones, but it’s no longer the same kind of company. Its presence in Europe is now parasitic. The company has been using patent trolls to sue companies in Europe and now there are head changes (new chief IP officer), which makes one wonder what the future of Europe holds. Might a central patent court facilitate continental lawsuits by Ericsson against a lot more practicing companies in a lot more countries? And if so, who would benefit the most?

“Might a central patent court facilitate continental lawsuits by Ericsson against a lot more practicing companies in a lot more countries?”Based on this new article by Dr. Boris Uphoff and Laura Morelli, Brexit can “stop the European Unitary Patent before it started,” to quote the headline. As they put it in the opening paragraph in a patent maximalism Web site:

On 23 June 2016, the British citizens will hold their referendum on the country’s membership in the European Union. Should they vote for the UK to leave the EU (the so-called ‘Brexit’), the new European unitary patent system is likely to collapse before it started.

There are several other barriers to the UPC, including the Spanish defiance. Ignore all the promotional (often paid-for) UPC propaganda. The future envisaged by Battistelli and his corporate masters for more than half a decade is now in jeopardy and Boards of Appeal may get their solidity back (filling up vacant positions, at long last, as per the EPC). As this legal analysis from a law firm (about Article 112a EPC) put it earlier today: “It has been a long day in Munich. You have reached the end of the Oral Proceedings and the European Patent Office (EPO) Board of Appeal announces its decision, which is final . . . or is it? When the updated European Patent Convention (EPC) 2000 came into force in December 2007, it also brought a new provision that allows a party to request decisions of the EPO Board of Appeal to be judicially reviewed by the Enlarged Board of Appeal. [...] While statistics show that petitions for review at the EPO have an extremely low likelihood of success, if the Board of Appeal has an incorrect composition or has committed a procedural or even criminal violation, that long day in Munich may not necessarily be the end of your case.”

“Battistelli needs to go away along with his UPC fantasy.”In reality, based on many people’s experience (I wrote to the Enlarged Board of Appeal a long time ago), these boards are probably one of the strongest elements of the EPO and eliminating them to give way to the UPC would be a horrible mistake. The system worked reasonably well in the past; what Battistelli does is attract patent aggressors, welcome more spurious litigation, software patents, patent trolls, and unprecedented cronyism. Battistelli needs to go away along with his UPC fantasy. He brought to the EPO nothing but a crisis.

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