12.16.16

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Will the Patent Microcosm of London Please Stop Misleading the Public About UPC?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Remember where UPC money and support come from (Battistelli and his PR agency)

IAM events

Summary: Response to some British blogs that want us to believe that the UPC is about to come true, even in the face of very obvious barriers and facts that are not convenient to Team Battistelli and Team UPC

THE EPO is not alone in lying about the UPC. Team UPC helps with that and all of them do so for personal gain, not because the UPC would be desirable to Europe.

Joff Wild’s wild and loaded latest headline (“As the UK moves closer to UPC ratification, there could be a litigation spurt at the new regime’s birth”) wants us to forget that the UK simply cannot ratify the UPC. We have already explained this in the following series of recent posts:

Wild, being an habitual Battistelli mouthpiece and UPC pusher (the EPO even supported Wild's pro-UPC events), now repeats Bristows’ talking points, first in Twitter and then in a “blog” that says:

The UK’s ratification of the Unified Patent Court agreement moved one step closer yesterday with the confirmation that it had signed the UPC’s Protocol on Privileges and Immunities. This provides EU privileges and immunities to the court’s judges in those countries hosting divisions of the court and signing it was a necessary step on the path to the UK’s full membership of the system.

What a misleading pile of rubbish. This does not change anything when it comes to tackling the main barrier, which is Brexit. And without London there is no UPC, either.

Responding to the latest from Team UPC ("Bristows UPC" to be precise), we have some new public comments that remind Team UPC to get off its high horse. Bristows’ site is pretty much dead (maybe a few visitors per week, not even much activity), so like a parasite it's now preying on a host, IP Kat. A lot of the pro-UPC talking points get posted there by Bristows staff and the responses are more or less the same. IP Kat readers are not gullible enough. As the first comment put it:

This is so unreal! How can they ratify an agreement that depends on EU membership??? Would the EY really go ahead with spending money on this stillborn part of the UPC? What do they think they are doing???

UPC is dead here and Bristows refuses to accept it, having invested much time and money on UPC propaganda, marketing (not the same thing, includes a rebrand), etc. Here is the next comment:

My guess is that no one actually read the UPC article in detail and that therefore no decision maker is really aware of Art. 20 and Art. 21 of the UPC agreement. We should not forget that politicians often are no lawyers and get a lot of knowledge via Powerpoint from their staffers who might be general lawyers but no IP experts.

At least this is my explanation for what is going on.

My second theory is that Italy was heavily lobbying that the seat of the court is going to Milan rather than London and the UK government felt that it is necessary to stop this at least for the time being by indicating that they will ratify.

One person says in this comment that Lucy did what she did “so as not to block the UPC for other EU member states. Since the UK will be out of the EU, it does not really care what the other EU states get up to and if they want their UPC system, let them have it.”

Another person explained it like this:

To me, it would appear to be a tactical exercise in frustration, something that successive UK governments have been very good at ever since the UK became a member of the EU – pre-23/06/2016 : we want in, but we don’t really want to play in the same schoolyard as everyone else – post-23/06 : now we want out, and we’ll be damned if anyone else is going to grab the main venue court (glares at Italy and Germany alike) and take it away from London until we’ve hammered out “the best deal possible” for the rest of the exit proceedings. It thus gives the UK government another iron to put in the fire and keep warm while both the EU and UK (ir)responsible ministers bluster about principled positions. Sometimes cynicism really is the mother of all diplomacy. It really all makes perfect sense.

In reality, what Lucy did is likely to further delay things and put the whole system in a deadlock which is contingent upon Brexit. This, in part, is why the UPC won’t be going anywhere any time soon. Another comment on the topic said:

Well, it looks like there was some truth in the well-informed rumours that I heard:
http://ipkitten.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/will-uk-industry-suffer-from.html?showComment=1481284766354#c8489500711255308227

What you make of this will, I guess, depend upon which side of the UPC fence that you sit.

With the UK legal profession being the principal beneficiary of the move to ratify, I guess that the government decided that it may as well benefit from the extra tax revenue that will come its way from the bumper profits that will be generated by UK lawyers. Set against that, the (very obvious) disadvantages for “industry” probably looked a bit less concrete.

It’s just a shame that the system has now been set up so that no one in their right mind (or at least no one who wants patent protection in the UK) will seek to obtain unitary patents… which, coupled with all of the opt-outs that will be filed, could make the workload of the UPC very light indeed!

Team UPC is not sober. It’s drunk on Kool-Aid. If it’s not deliberately lying (the self-fulfilling prophecy method), then we should worry about the mental state of people who wish to inherit and dominate Europe’s legal/juridical system for handling of patents.

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