In 2014, as in 2013, the unitary patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC) dossier has been among the Federation’s highest priorities, following the long-awaited agreement between the European Parliament and Council in late 2012 which resulted in the unitary patent and language Regulations being adopted in December 2012, and signature of the UPC Agreement on 19 February 2013.
Total Documents: 19
In December 2012, the EU Commission launched a public consultation on the protection against misappropriation of trade secrets and confidential business information in the EU, which initially took the form of an online questionnaire. The Commission had previously (in March 2011) appointed a law firm to study the legal framework and practices in the 27 Member States regarding trade secret protection. This was published in January 2012. The Commission had also organised a conference on the subject in June 2012.
In 2013, the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC) dossier has been among the Federation’s highest priorities, following the long-awaited agreement between the European Parliament and Council in late 2012. The agreement resulted in the Unitary patent and Language Regulations being adopted in December 2012, and signature of the UPC agreement on 19 February 2013. It will be recalled that all EU countries but Spain and Poland signed the agreement at this time (although Bulgaria signed a little late), and notably Italy was also among the signatories, despite its not participating in the Enhanced Cooperation arrangement which gave rise to the Unitary patent regulations. Indeed, in July 2013, Italy indicated informally an intention to join the Unitary patent regime as well as the UPC.
Users welcomed a slowing of the pace of amendment of the European Patent Convention (EPC) itself, as the EPO digests the ramifications of previous changes. This did not mean that the EPO rested on its laurels in 2012 and in other areas it was active in ways that users welcome, such as the innovations in the area of machine translations.
In 2012, the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC) dossier has been among the Federation’s highest priorities, with major developments notwithstanding the breakdown of negotiations at the Competitiveness Council meeting in Warsaw in December 2011 over the location of the Central Division of the UPC.
In 2012, the EQE will have its first major change since the first examination in 1979. With effect from 2012 there will be a pre-examination which is designed to act as a filter to reduce the number of candidates sitting the full examination without sufficient preparation. The “main” examination in its new form will be held for the first time in 2013. Candidates must pass the pre-examination before being allowed to sit the main examination. The pre-examination may be taken after two years full-time training.
On 4 December 2009 the Competitiveness Council adopted a package of measures (“Conclusions on an Enhanced patent system in Europe”) setting the foundation for both an EU-wide patent and a unified patent litigation system (UPLS) in Europe.