For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Monday, 31 October 2011

European patent reform: so much to read!

Some correspondents have been wondering why the IPKat hasn't been able to provide more, and better, coverage of the progress towards the European Union's proposed Unified Patent Court and the Unitary Patent System.  Well, you try it! As soon as you start reading one document, along comes another one!

Less than two weeks ago, along came the Draft agreement on a Unified Patent Court and draft Statute - Revised Presidency text (Brussels, 19 October 2011). This draft is 99 sides long: "Changes in relation to the previous version are marked. The provisions in italics marked with square brackets are still being developed as their final version depends either on the drafting technique to be adopted or on the content of the planned Commission proposal on changes to the acquis itself". However, one week later along came Draft agreement on a Unified Patent Court and draft Statute -- Revised Presidency text (Brussels, 26 October 2011). According to this document, also 99 sides long, "Delegations will find in the Annex a revised Presidency compromise text concerning the above draft agreement, to serve as the basis for discussions at the meeting of the Friends of the Presidency Group on 27 October 2011. Changes in relation to the previous version (15539/11) are underlined".

But while the Unified Court has been taking shape, the Unitary Patent has also been inching towards its completion.  This document, also dated 26 October, contains (i) the Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection -- Preparation of the next informal trialogue and (ii) the Proposal for a Regulation of the Council implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection with regard to the applicable translation arrangements -- Preparation of the next exchange of views with the European Parliament. This 87-page document promises that, "Following the meeting on 18 October, delegations will find in the Annexes comparative tables concerning the two above-mentioned proposed Regulations for examination at the meeting of the Friends of the Presidency Group on 27 October 2011 in preparation of the forthcoming informal trialogue, scheduled for 8 November 2011".

The IPKat wonders whether it is he alone who is struggling to keep up with all the latest documentation, digest and understand it and then make any sort of sensible comments on it before the next batch of documentation comes winging its way towards him.  Merpel agrees and ponders on whether flooding interested parties with information as just as effective a way of silencing them as giving them no information in the first place.

The IPKat thanks Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex, for supplying him with so much to read!

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