|The AmeriKat prefers keyboards|
to chairs for naptime - not only are they
warmer but they are sure to be required for
use by someone (which makes them
all the more desirable)
Supporting the view that the profession and industry have a bit more breathing room, on Monday and Tuesday this week following the meeting of the Competitiveness Council a press release was issued which stated that Member States had again confirmed their involvement to reach a resolution on the patent package, the latest date to do so would be June 2012:
"The Presidency recalled the statement made on 30 January by the heads of state and government of the member states participating in the enhanced cooperation for the creation of unitary patent protection to reaching a final agreement on the last outstanding issue in the patent package at the latest in June 2012 (5/12, point 4)." [Of course, the AmeriKat reminds readers that this previous statement was subject to particular scrutiny by the House of Common's Scrutiny Committee where it was stated that the "last outstanding issue" was an over-simplification of the actual position.]
Under Article 22 of the Draft Agreement, the Rules of Procedure will lay down the details of proceedings before the unified patent court, with the aim that the Rules will
"guarantee that decisions of the Court are of the highest quality and that proceedings are organized in the most efficient and cost effect manner. They shall ensure a fair balance between the legitimate interests of all parties. They shall provide for the required level of discretion for the judges without impairing predictability of proceedings for the parties".
|The Committee of Seven|
-- a happy choice of number
between 6 and 8
Speaking with the AmeriKat yesterday morning, Mr Mooney explained that his aim was to make the process as "open and inclusive as possible". He explained that the Committee will be spending the weekend working on the draft Rules in the hope that, in a short period of time, and ideally by the end of March, a draft will be released to interested organizations for their review and comment. The AmeriKat understands there will be a high level of engagement and involvement with industry and professional organizations which, it is hoped, will allow substantial refinement of the Rules as soon as possible. A further draft will then be released for public discussion.
As discussed during the House of Commons Scrutiny Committee hearings, some of the problems that are inherent in the substantive provision may be somewhat alleviated by the provisions in the Rules of Procedure -- for example, control on time limits where there are bifurcated proceedings to ensure there is no lengthy delay between validity and infringement proceedings. It is thus an important step that a Committee of distinguished members from several Member States has been formed and will now be tackling the Rules.
|Kevin Mooney, Chair of Committee |
on Rules of Procedure
Admittedly, despite her earlier comment, the AmeriKat says that readers can relax a little bit while the Committee hunkers down for what will surely be the first in a long line of detailed discussions this weekend. But until then, the profession could perhaps preoccupy themselves with some extracurricular reading. Merpel suggests that the opinion from the Commission's legal service on why Articles 6 to 8 must be included in the Regulation would be a good start.
"I like your suggestion, Merpel, but it's difficult to read something we have never seen..." says the IPKat, "Are we sure it exists?". The AmeriKat says nothing, as she has already scampered off to see if the Commission has finally disclosed it...