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10.18.18

It’s Almost 2019 and Team UPC is Still Pretending Unitary Patent (UPC) Exists, Merely Waiting for Britain to Join

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 7:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Amplifying those two lies (twisting facts) still

Female gymnast

Summary: Refusing to accept that the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) has reached its death or is at a dead end, UPC proponents — i.e. lawyers looking to profit from frivolous litigation — resort to outright lies and gymnastics in logic/intellectual gymnastics

EUROPEAN patent courts don’t quite tolerate software patents in Europe. National courts have pretty clear laws (excepting or excluding abstract things), so the António Campinos-run EPO hopes to bypass/replace these courts with UPC, which rumours say Battistelli still wants to manage. IAM keeps him in the loop, as does CEIPI.

Earlier this week Womble Bond Dickinson LLP’s Patrick Cantrill, Rose Smalley and Tim Barber spoke about UPC. They clarify that everything is conditional although they stop short of saying it’s dead. To quote:

The current membership of the EPO numbers 38 countries, i.e. a far greater number than the current 28 Member States of the EU. Therefore, as far as the EPO, EPC and UK patent profession are concerned, it is business as usual. To put into context this continuation of the UK in the operations of the EPC and the EPO, it may be recalled that UK patent attorneys comprise one-fifth of the total number of professionals across the EPO signatory states, and they handle one-third of all of the European patent (“EP”) applications. Moreover, of the 40,000 EPs filed last year by UK patent attorneys, 90% originated from outside the UK. Consequently, the prosecution of EP applications, whether at the EPO or through the Patent Cooperation Treaty, will not change. New and pending applications will continue to designate the UK and as before, at the grant stage, the applicant will be able to opt for national protection in the UK and other countries, exactly as they do at present.

However, there will be some ramifications following Brexit in such areas as Supplementary Protection Certificates (“SPCs”); Community Plant Variety Rights (“CPVRs”); and the proposed Unitary Patents (“UPs”) and Unified Patents Court (“UPC”).

Moreover, if the UP system is to come into existence, there is a query as to the extent to which the UK can participate, an issue which this note addresses in greater detail below, along with the issue as to whether, and if so how, patentees might wish to opt out of UPC system.

[...]

The establishment of the UPC has been stalled by a challenge brought before the German Constitutional Court, which is not due to be heard until the autumn of 2018. Even if this challenge were to be overcome, the UPC is now unlikely to open its doors until the middle of 2019 at the earliest, after the date for Brexit.

It has nevertheless been stated by the UK Government that, regardless of Brexit, the UK wishes to participate in the UPC. With this in mind, the UK ratified the UPC Treaty on 26 April 2018. However, as aspects of the UPC will be subject to EU law, the UK’s participation post-Brexit will require an amendment to the UPC Treaty, as its provisions only cover ‘Member States’. Encouragingly, there appears to be willingness on all sides that such an accommodation will be made in order to allow the UK to participate.

If the UK is unable (or unwilling) post-Brexit to participate in the UP system, a UP will cover only those EU Member States within the EPC system that have ratified the UPC Treaty. As at the date of publication, 16 Member States had ratified and three more are on track to have ratified by the time that the UP system commences (if such should occur in mid-2019). If the UK does not join, it will continue to be possible to validate ‘classical’ EP application in the UK as is the case today.

They are leaping quite a few steps because there are additional barriers (other than Germany’s challenge) and opposition can be leveraged — if necessary — in all sorts of other ways. The truth is, UPCA is nothing but a collusion of law firms. They strive to change the law to better suit the litigation ‘industry’. It’s bad for Europe and good for foreign patent trolls.

IPPro Patents’ Ben Wodecki has meanwhile mentioned some nonsense from a “LIPS panellist” (they promote patent maximalism in this event). The UPC is virtually dead, but facts don’t seem to matter because Team UPC keeps lying about it in its behind-closed-doors lobbying events. Here’s what the new report said:

The UK does not need to sign a new treaty to remain part of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), according to Francesco Macchetta, intellectual property advisor and former director of IP at Bracco Imaging.

In a panel discussion at the London IP Summit on intellectual property post-brexit, Macchetta said that, in his opinion, no new treaty would be necessary for the UK to remain in the UPC as “the UK ratified when it was an EU member as required by the legislation”.

Pierre Véron, honorary president of the European Patent Lawyers Association, agreed, showing the audience the Lamping-Ullrich paper, which suggests that the UK should not be allowed to be part of the UPC post-brexit.

This is the same European Patent Lawyers Association (EPLAW) which recently mocked the paper using anonymous sockpuppets. These people are downright crazy and they’re growingly miserable.

Last but not least we have this new article by Dorsey & Whitney LLP. “The Unified Patent Court (‘UPC’) has not yet been established as it is still needs ratification by Germany (the timing of which, vis-à-vis Brexit, is unknown),” it says. Timing? Not even the outcome is known!

But that doesn’t matter, does it?

They’d have their target audience believe that the outcome is already known and judges are just some ‘nuisance’ in the face of inevitability. From their article:

As much of patent law has a basis in UK domestic legislation, the existing systems (including conditions, legal requirements and application processes) will remain in place but will operate independently from the EU. EU legislation relevant to patents and supplementary protection certificates will be retained in the UK law and will form the UK’s own supplementary protection certificate regime on exit. Any existing rights and licences in force in the UK will remain in force after exit day.

The Unified Patent Court (‘UPC’) has not yet been established as it is still needs ratification by Germany (the timing of which, vis-à-vis Brexit, is unknown). The UPC is intended to be a single international forum established by 25 EU countries to provide businesses with a streamlined process for enforcing patents. The UK government has stated that it wishes to remain part of the UPC and unitary patent system on exit day if possible. If the UPC is ratified and comes into force, the UK will explore whether it would be possible to remain within the UPC and unitary patent systems following Brexit. Following Brexit it may be that staying within the UPC and unitary patent system is unworkable. To do so would mean that the UK has to accept the supremacy of European law in these matters and this is most likely not acceptable to certain UK political circles who regard the supremacy of any form of outside law and of forum as objectionable.

Pretty much all the above is a salad of lies and wishful thinking, i.e. what sums up pretty much everything that comes out of the mouths of Team UPC nowadays. Time has probably run out for them already, but they refuse to give up. They’re delusional.

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