Patent court fears

first_img Mark Anderson, Anderson Law, Shillingford, Oxfordshire Your report ‘Euro patent court “ruinous for business”‘ will have left readers who are not specialists in patent law uncertain as to whether the main issue is the principle of the court, its location, procedural rules, languages used, or the training of judges. Most pertinent is the quote from Philip Westmacott, that ‘international patent law is complex and ­for SMEs… potentially ruinous’ and the issues ‘must be debated and discussed in detail’. There are two pressing issues for English solicitors: (a) articles 6 to 8 in the draft legislation, and (b) the location of the central court. Articles 6 to 8 were introduced by the European Commission’s legal team. The effect would be to make decisions of the court subject to appeal to the European Court of Justice. This would be disastrous. To quote the president of the European Patent Lawyers Association: ‘There are various important issues – one is a timing issue. The involvement of the ECJ will delay infringement proceedings for years. Second is the cost… and third, which is maybe the most important, is that the judges at the ECJ do not have patent law expertise.’ As for the location of the court, patent lawyers have estimated that the value to the UK economy of having the court in London would be about £120m per annum.last_img

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