The United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has published a consultation paper on whether to extend the use of Appointed Persons from trade mark law to to patents and supplementary protection certificates (SPCs).
There appears to be little reason to think that appeals on matters pertaining to SPCs would be brought to an Appointed Person as a matter of choice since, even though the Appointed Person may refer questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling, both proprietary pharma and generic pharma sectors are likely to want rulings at the highest level, where they are of greater precedental value. However, when it comes to regular patent disputes involving individual inventors and small businesses, the prospect of litigation ending after a single appeal may be quite tempting.
The closing date for the submission of responses is 21 May 2013.
Click here for a little more background
Click here for the consultation paper