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10.20.16

Unitary Patent (UPC) is Dead, But ‘Managing IP’ and Selfish Patent Law Firms Still Try to Resurrect It

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They just refuse to let go, much to Battistelli’s satisfaction and everybody else’s chagrin (to use a French term)

Bristows LLP and EPO

Summary: The latest attempts to shore up the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court and who’s behind it other than the usual suspects

THE PATENT microcosm, and Team UPC in particular, wishes us to believe that the UPC is not dead. They spent years investing money and time in it, so they’re still in denial about its death. They’re still in one of these famous stages preceding “acceptance”.

“They’re still in one of these famous stages preceding “acceptance”.”Still trying to salvage what’s left of the dead UPC scheme, MIP sets up a so-called ‘webinar’ (basically live streaming some agenda) and says: “Please send us your questions on Brexit/Unitary Patent/UPC!”

Isn’t it a done deal already? The Brexit vote — however it winds up — eliminated UPC, and probably not just in the UK. “Why does MIP keep pushing the UPC agenda,” I asked online. “Is this reciprocated for by EPO people? Seems so (not directly)…”

“Today’s webinar on Brexit & #UnitaryPatent has just finished,” MIP later wrote. “Listen to & view the recording & vote results here! http://www.managingip.com/Web-Seminars.html … pic.twitter.com/yvoq7shTBM”

“We are still hoping that someone will explain to us why the EPO Boards of Appeal celebrated this week.”Responding to what I wrote, MIP said: “Roy, we’re not pushing the #UPC (or any other) agenda. We’re just providing a discussion forum. Did you listen to the webinar?”

I asked: “Any critics of the UPC in there?”

“Range of views expressed,” they said. “We’ll have a blog up soon with more details…”

That’s not actually answering my question but instead dodges it, so we’ll assume the so-called ‘webinar’ was a one-sided echo chamber, like the UPC-themed conference they set up last month to assist lobbying [1, 2, 3, 4] by the likes (or lies) of Margot Fröhlinger [1, 2, 3].

Earlier in the same day I asked publicly: “Does anybody know why the EPO Boards of Appeal are celebrating? Is the UPC dead? Well, it is. So what’s the news? AC meeting?”

We are still hoping that someone will explain to us why the EPO Boards of Appeal celebrated this week. No doubt the very prospect of the UPC was taking away their jobs (they’re grossly understaffed and perpetually besieged); among their jobs, or imperatives at times, was keeping software patents out of Europe, i.e. upholding the law. I actually wrote to the Enlarged Board of Appeal about this subject in the distant past.

Regarding UPC and Brexit, there is no lack of new pieces from various lawyers that want the UPC and would even lie for it. Here is a new piece by Boult Wade Tennant (“Is there a place for a post-Brexit UK in the Unitary Patent system?”) and another one in German (“Europäisches Einheitspatent und Brexit”). Another article, published yesterday by Li Zhu of Robins Kaplan LLP says this:

Some quick history — the Unitary Patent system is the European Union’s attempt in 2013 to propose a new European patent with unitary effect and a unified European patent court (“Unified Patent Court” or “UPC”). Both are designed to promote homogenous patent protection across participating EU states, so companies can enforce their patent rights with greater predictability and efficiency. Under the Unitary Patent system, when a patent is granted, the patentee can request (1) a unitary patent—which is enforced across all participating states in a single action; (2) a traditional European patent; or (3) a unitary patent alongside European patent protection for any country not covered by the UPC agreement. For parties enforcing or defending their patent rights, the UPC could eliminate the unnecessary duplication of multiple actions in different member states and avoid divergent results from parallel court proceedings.

That’s hardly a balanced interpretation but more like marketing of the UPC, parroting the tired old talking points.

The title of the article is “Brexit—The End of the Unitary Patent System as we Know it?” but it’s not just the end of UPC as we know it (the answer is “yes”) but quite likely the end of the UPC as a whole. Don’t believe those liars who advertised bogus job openings in the UK for the UPC; they have no credibility, no decency, and total disregards for UK and EU democracy.

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