Thursday, 2 September 2010

CIPA, the Belgian Presidency and the European patent litigation debate

The IPKat has already commented here on today's press release from the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) concerning the Advocate Generals' negative response to the proposals for the European and European Union Patents Court (noted briefly on PatLit here). Coincidentally, today has seen this piece on Science Business on the determination of the EU's Belgian Presidency to press on, echoing CIPA's positive take on the fact that the proposal is not actually positively excluded by EU law.

It seems to PatLit that the Belgian position itself is indicative of the fact that, while there is a strong political and institutional will to drive the proposal off the drawing board and into reality, there are still a lot of nuts-and-bolts issues that have to be resolved.  The important thing to understand is this: Every issue which is the subject of legal fudge and diplomatic compromise on the path to the introduction of the proposed system is an issue which is the subject of dispute, uncertainty and potential litigation after it has been introduced.  If proof is needed, consider the fact that, getting on for 20 years after the laying of the foundations of the Community trade mark system -- a far simpler task -- basic issues relating to control of the granting office, its relationship with national offices and whether use of a mark in one EU Member State is 'genuine use' within the Community remain painfully and ludicrously unresolved.  If discussion and a considered resolution before the event are eschewed, can we expect a better after-the-event result via a decision of the Court of Justice?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't most businesses say that the CTM system was a good thing even if not perfect. They certainly vote with their feet. Better to have their feet on board an adequate if not perfect system, than waiting at the gates of a yet to be implemented perfect one.