Friday, 14 November 2008

"Fading fast" -- hopes for a new European patent court

Joff Wild (editor, Intellectual Asset Management) gives disappointing news for those who have pinned their hopes on an end to the deadlock over the proposed European patent court.

Right: the Windsurfer -- a potent image for European patent litigators, but there's no plain sailing on the way to establishing the new European patent court

Reporting from the Trilateral Authorities users’ meeting in The Hague, he writes:

"It seems that patents are no longer a priority for the French – although that is probably a bit too simplistic. In fact, I have been told that there are splits between ministries within the French government. Some departments (such as that responsible for industry) are keen to press on and others are less inclined to waste (as they would see it) political capital on trying to reach an agreement on patents when there are far more important (as they would see it) issues to deal with; and this is a view that seems to be shared by the French delegation in Brussels.

That said, there is a new document relating to the patent court. Intriguingly, it is entitled “Draft Agreement on the European Union Patent Judiciary - compatibility of the draft Agreement with the EC Treaty - possible request to the EC Court of Justice for an opinion (Article 300(6) EC)”. Unfortunately, it does not yet seem to be available to view.

Anyway, the clock is ticking down. ... There is a chance that things may be revived under the Swedes when they take the reins in the second half of 2009. But do not bet on it. Instead, the chances are that nothing much is going to happen and a single European patent jurisdiction will remain a distant dream".

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