What next for standard essential patents (SEPs) in the UK – responses to the UKIPO’s Call for Views

We previously reported on the UK Intellectual Property Office's (UKIPO) consultation on standard essential patents (SEPs) when it was launched in December 2021 (see here). The responses have now been published and the full report is available here. There were a mix of views – with some respondents happy with the current system, while others complaining that it favours either SEP holders or implementers. A number of proposals were made for potential reforms to the system. Read more

UPC – Mediation and Arbitration – rules and objectives published

The Patent Mediation and Arbitration Centre (PMAC) forms part of the Unified Patent Court (UPC). Its rules of operation are have now been published. It operates independently, but carries out its tasks in close contact and cooperation with the committees/bodies of the UPC which will have to take decisions in relation to the operation of the Centre. The Centre has its seats in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Lisbon, Portugal. Mediation and arbitration proceedings can be held either at the seats or elsewhere. Read more

UPC – The location of 13 local and one regional division courts announced and numbers of legally qualified judges at each

The UPC Administrative Committee has issued confirmation of the location of the various local and regional divisions of the Unified Patent Court (UPC).  Whilst all other participating states will have one local court (or participate in the Nordic-Baltic regional division announced), Germany will have three local division courts - Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Mannheim. At the same time the numbers of national judges on each panel have also been confirmed for each court. Read more

UPC Rules of Procedure – final version approved

The UPC Rules of Procedure  have been approved. Amendments to the previous 2017 draft have been released by the UPC Administrative Committee, in tracked changes form, with a full consolidated version promised to be "published during the course of the summer, before the Rules’ entry into force on 1 September 2022".  One of the most significant changes is to opt-out procedures, but others include the use of video-conferencing, public access to pleadings and confidentiality club arrangements. Read more

The IP in NFTs – what you need to know

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are one of the hottest IP topics currently. NFTs can be used simply for marketing purposes or as a new form of asset to attract investment or as part of the transfer of products and services into the Metaverse.This new asset class has exploded across all sectors and raises some interesting challenges from an IP perspective. While NFTs have demonstrated themselves to be a powerful tool in the new digital era, they remain poorly understood. In our series of blog posts on NFTs, we explore intellectual property considerations, misconceptions and issues that we are seeing arising in the NFT space, including, in this first blog post, clarifying what NFTs are and how they can create effective control over digital assets and the use of NFTs for provenance and anti-counterfeiting. Read more

UK consultation on AI concludes that a text and data mining exception to copyright and database right infringement for any purpose should be introduced

The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has published its response to its consultation on legislative changes needed to accommodate AI, stating that it has accepted the need to create a new data mining exception for copyright and database rights and that this will make it easier to analyse material for machine learning, research and innovation. The exception will apply to text and data mining for any purpose, although rights holders will still have safeguards to protect their content, including a requirement for lawful access. The Government’s decided not to introduce changes to the UK’s patent inventorship criteria or copyright computer generated works provisions at this time, although the law will be kept under review. Read more

Irish Government reaffirms its commitment to the UPC but referendum date may be as late as 2024

The Irish Government has reaffirmed its commitment to participate in the UPC, issuing a statement earlier this week (28 June 2022). However Ireland requires a public referendum to confirm that it should ratify the UPC Agreement and uncertainty about the timing of this looks likely to mean that Ireland will not be one of the states forming part of the UPC system on Day 1, given that recent announcements place the start date for the UPC in early 2023. Read more

UPC: Review licensing deals to avoid heartbreak, counsel warn

Laura Orlando's comments on reaching agreement on who has the right to seek or request opt-out or opt-in in relation to European patents and the up-coming UPC jurisdiction over them have been quoted by Managing Intellectual Property in an article of 16 June 2022: UPC special focus: Review licensing deals to avoid heartbreak, counsel warn. Read more