The UPC is GO! Sufficient ratification of the Protocol on Provisional Application means the UPC is guaranteed to commence and final practical preparations can now be made for a start that could be as early as Autumn 2022

The General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, has declared that the Protocol on Provisional Application of the UPC Agreement has entered into force today (19.01.22) after Austria deposited its instrument of ratification of the Protocol yesterday, allowing the provisional application period to commence. Only one more ratification was needed for the Protocol to come into effect and this has now been achieved. All the practical preparations for, and financial investment in, the new court system can now be made during the provisional application period, safe in the knowledge that the UPC will now definitely become a reality. Although there is no prescribed period for the provisional application period, the UPC Preparatory Committee has previously estimated that about 8 months will be needed to prepare, which implies that we may have the UPC ready to hear cases as early as September or October 2022. Read more

Austrian government completes ratification of Protocol on Provisional Application of the UPC Agreement – once this is deposited the UPC may start after 8 months

The EPO has announced that the Austrian government has successfully completed its ratification of the Protocol to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court on provisional application (PPA). Once this ratification is deposited with the EU Council, then the UPCA provisional application period can commence and final preparations can be made for the arrival of the UPC, with the knowledge that the UPC's commencement is assured.  The UPC Preparatory Committee has estimated that this preparation period would need to last around 8 months, so the UPC could start around 8 months from Austria's deposit. Read more

Is it game over for computer-implemented inventions in Australia?

The Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia has provided some clarity on assessing whether computer-implemented inventions constitute patentable subject matter, finding that Aristocrat’s patent claims to electronic gaming machines with particular gaming features were not a “manner of manufacture”. However, applying the Court’s reasoning to future cases will require careful analysis. Read more

Consultation on Standard Essential Patent (SEP) framework launched by UK IPO

The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has published an open consultation Standard Essential Patents and Innovation: Call for views in order in order to better understand the current framework’s function to support innovation. Views are sought on whether the SEPs framework is functioning efficiently and strikes the right balance for all entities involved. Its stated aim is "to produce the optimal IP framework for the UK that will promote innovation and creativity both now and, in the future" whilst ensuring the Government’s ambitions set out in the UK Innovation Strategy are supported. Read more

HSF IP partners interviewed on UPC preparations by IAM

IAM have interviewed our IP partners Laura Orlando and Sebastian Moore in an article, The EU's Unified Patent Court is set to open in 2022 - this is what you need to know, on the progress towards the new European patent system. The article discusses the new landscape for patent enforcement - including the 2022 start date, opt-out considerations and deadlines, and the practical arrangements needed to bring the new court to life. Sebastian and Laura comment in particular on the location of the life sciences seat of the central division and the recruitment and composition of the UPC judiciary. Read more

COP26 and the Consumer Sector

While the COP26 climate summit did not deliver on the high expectations placed on it, the outcomes of the conference will still have a noticeable impact on businesses.  We summarise in this briefing the key outcomes from COP26, and the way that consumer companies are responding to the increasing climate action expectations of consumers. What … Read more