The significant changes to the Part 63 Practice Direction are:
1. Claim forms must include the registration number of the patent, registered design or trade mark to which the claim relates.The new Part 63 Practice Direction can be found here.
2. Where the validity of a patent or registered design is challenged, the Grounds of Invalidity must specify the grounds on which validity is challenged, as well as "include particulars that will clearly define every issue (including any challenge to any claimed priority date) which it is intended to raise."
3. A party intending to serve a product and process description (instead of complying with the standard disclosure obligations) must notify the other party of its intention to do so, 21 days before the date for serving disclosure lists. The product and process description must be accompanied by a witness statement which states that the person making the statement (i) is acquainted with the facts, (ii) verifies that the description is a true and complete description of the product or process alleged to infringe, and (iii) understands that he or she may be cross-examined on the contents of the description.
4. paragraphs 11.1 to 11.4 have been added to deal with requests to limit a patent centrally at the European Patent Office.
In addition to the changes to Part 63, of interest to patent litigators, will be the changes to Part 35 governing expert evidence. Although most of the amendments deal with single joint experts and any discussions between experts, experts must sign a new statement of truth, which cannot be modified. They must also state, in their reports, that they understand and have complied with their duty to the Court, and are aware of the requirements of Part 35, the Practice Direction to Part 35 and the Protocol for Instruction of Experts to give Evidence in Civil Claims. The new wording can be found here.
Written by Priya; posted by Jeremy