Out-law reports that the Legal Service of the European Parliament has taken the view that the proposed European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA) is not compatible with European law, quoting conflicts with Articles 10 and 292 of the EC Treaty, Directive 2004/48 and the Brussels Regulation, along with various rulings from the ECJ. The main conclusions of the report are:
"compliance with Article 98 of EPLA would prima facie constitute a breach of Article 292 EC Treaty"; and
"the Community's competence is exclusive for the matters governed by EPLA and Member States therefore are not entitled on their own to conclude that Agreement".
The IPKat fails to see exactly how the EPLA treads on EC law on patents (limited as it is) sufficiently to be incompatible with it, and suspects that the Legal Service is just giving the Parliament the answer it wants to hear, i.e. that if anyone should be able to do something about European patent law it should be them, even if that is to do nothing but sit in the manger so nobody else can. He also wonders how so many other highly qualified people, including many judges, could have thought the EPLA was a good idea if it was contrary to EC law. Perhaps, Merpel suggests, the Legal Service have been knobbled by the FFII's nonsensical conspiracy theory-based arguments about the "global patent industry" (see here for more details), along with the Parliament.
Whether this means the death of the EPLA remains to be seen, but it now looks like the European Parliament will be given a boost to side against European Commissioner Charlie McCreevy, who has come out in favour of it (see here).
Thursday, 15 February 2007
Posted by David at 7:10:00 p.m.