Friday, 24 May 2013

Scottish solicitors recommend keeping jurisdiction to litigate patents

On Wednesday the Law Society of Scotland issued a statement concerning the future of patent litigation in Scotland. Bear in mind the fact that Scottish patent litigation is subject to two layers of uncertainty: one relates to the impact of the Unitary Patent Court system within the European Union as a whole, while the other relates to whether Scotland's contemplated departure from the United Kingdom would automatically require the country to apply for membership of the European Union.

The statement runs as follows:
"The Law Society of Scotland has today, 22 May, recommended that the Court of Session retains its jurisdiction over patent cases under the new Community Unitary Patent system.

The Intellectual Property Bill, once enacted, will pave the way for establishing a Unitary Patent Court system in the UK. The Society considers it important that Scotland is allocated one of the (up to four) possible local divisions of the Court. This will ensure that businesses operating in Scotland are not unduly disadvantaged by no longer having a local option to enforce or defend their rights.

Gill Grassie, member of the Law Society of Scotland's Intellectual Property Committee, said:
"The Court of Session currently has jurisdiction in Scotland over cases under existing patents. If it were not to have this for the new Unitary Patent, then litigants in Scotland would no longer have an effective local option available to protect their patent rights - they would instead have to litigate or defend their position elsewhere in the UK or Europe. This could significantly increase costs for those litigants. Designating the Court of Session as one of the UK local divisions of the Unitary Patent Court would ensure that patent litigants who operate in Scotland are not unduly disadvantaged"".
Thanks go to Kate Manning for supplying this information.

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