|The unitary patent's countdown clock|
has the same face as Big Ben....coincidence?
|President Van Rompuy's message to|
the Competitiveness Council:
"Don't make me come back there...."
"I really appeal to each of you to instruct your Ministers responsible for these files to show the necessary sense of compromise to help the Presidency achieve results on what are key elements for growth in Europe. I would like to say a particular word on the Unitary Patent. This important file has been discussed for many years and we are now very close to a final deal, albeit only at 25. This deal is needed now, because this is an issue of crucial importance for innovation and growth. I very much hope that the last outstanding issue will be sorted out at the May Competitiveness Council. If not, I will take it up at the June European Council."But the questions of "if" and "when" are not new. If anything, they have become familiar friends during the unitary patent saga. With each passing day that the profession and industry know and are told nothing concrete about the status and future of the proposals in Brussels, these - the most important questions - are pushed to the sideline. Instead we trudge ahead with our ever maddening debates on the defects of the substantive provisions, feverish lobbying and letter writing by industry, and drafting Rules of Procedure for the yet-to-be (or never-to-be) Unified Patent Court.
here). Although the Committee's report was mostly predictable given the lines of questioning and cross-examination taken by the MPs (see AmeriKat posts here, here, here, here, here and here on the hearings), there did contain one surprise – that on the controversial Articles 6 to 8 of the Proposed Regulation. Although the Committee strongly agreed, as a matter of patent law, with the majority who oppose the inclusion of Articles 6 to 8 in the Regulation, they nevertheless recognized the "inevitability to their inclusion" as a matter of EU law despite the opinions of Sir Robin Jacob and Professor Kraßer. This, they said,
"calls into question whether incorporating a unitary patent regime within the EU will ever be practicable."
|What the academic Utopia looks like where |
CJEU referrals are fast, quick and cheap
|Not endorsing Dr. Tilmann's views|
"his own personal views. The views he expresses are not those of the Hogan Lovells intellectual property practice and are not endorsed by us. It is regrettable that the presentation of his opinion did not make this clear."
|Duck Tape - the quick fix solution to all of life's problems,|
but perhaps not for the unitary patent proposals
The AmeriKat does not think she is overstating this when she says, despite the industry's tireless efforts in raising these serious problems of the proposals with their respective national and European governmental ministers, that the profession and industry is worried that it may still nevertheless be bounced into a situation like the one they experienced last December. The AmeriKat fears that next week when the Competitiveness Council meets will she again be watching press conferences of European officials boasting that "everything has been agreed" as various gob-smacked professional patent organizations scramble to figure out who has and what has been agreed. She hopes this is not the case, but one thing that has been consistent throughout this process is the lack of transparency and certainty as to exactly what is going on at the national and European level in respect of the patent proposals. ["If anything, the slogan for the European legislative process should be "Surprise!", says the AmeriKat]
|The Unitary Fairy's wand - with one|
flick all of the unitary patent's problems
are fixed and we we are finally
(1) Can we please finally see the unredacted version of the Opinion of the Legal Service (document here) on the compatibility of the draft agreement with the CJEU's Opinion 1/09? The AmeriKat notes that someone who shares her insistence on this filed a request for the document in December. The request was rejected by the Council in January with the excuse that issue was too "complex" and "sensitive". Then the same individual - whose identity the AmeriKat has deduced - requested a confirmatory application under Regulation 1049/2001 (see chain of correspondence curiously, or not, found on the Austrian Parliament's website here) No word if that request has been responded to...
(2) Can we have some news of Italy and Spain's cases regarding the enhanced cooperation procedure? ["If it is taking this long to get a judgment from the CJEU on these, surely basic, procedural European law questions, it doesn't bode well for any substantive patent referrals", says the AmeriKat.
(3) Although publishing a beautiful and thorough report, can the UK's Scrutiny Committee make sure that after this they do not fail to exercise their powers to ensure that the voices of UK industry are not disregarded by UK negotiators in Brussels next week?And on that note, the AmeriKat lays her head down to sleep wishing that when she awakes the unitary patent fairy will have paid her and the patent profession a visit....