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Sunday, 19 October 2014

Fill in the form, keep your hair: UPC IT Prototype needs your feedback

The AmeriKat's Sunday evening screen
For the AmeriKat, Sunday afternoons are all about scrubbing away the week's frustrations, been and to come, around her flat to the westward drum of Led Zeppelin.  Afterwards, if the siren call of her day job doesn't beckon her, she often curls up with her laptop and paws through the week's IP news.  On a slight variation on the theme today, she has curled up with a hot mug of jasmine moonlight tea to play with the updated version of the UPC's IT prototype.  "Oh, how dull!" you may think to cry.  But, you would be wrong.  After years of posts and commentary, there is finally something concrete you can play with - a UPC prop that makes the system come alive.

Last week, the Kat posted a little section encouraging readers to test out the system.  If you missed it the AmeriKat is here to remind you once more.  With no limit on the number of users testing the system, the UK Intellectual Property Office's UPC Taskforce and those responsible for bringing the IT workstream to life want as many people as possible to test it.  All feedback is welcome - the good, the bad and the ugly. 

We all know that there are differences between European legal traditions and substantive patent law, but there may be possibly even more differences in how we fill out our respective court forms.  How a French patent litigator interprets a direction on a court form to complete certain details will invariably differ from that of a Dutch or Hungarian patent litigator.  These differences came to light during the London workshop on the prototype held two weeks ago.  For example, there was considerable debate about how and when the confidentiality of documents (i.e., evidence) would be dealt with and by whom.  Do the boxes on the form provide enough options for how litigants want to classify the confidentiality levels of their documents?  How are you supposed to assess the value of the claim?  What is the easiest way to upload exhibits so that the court clerks and the judges don't get confused?

What will happen to the AmeriKat if the UPC IT
system doesn't work....
These issues may seem trivial to us now, but the AmeriKat promises that when the system is up and running if there is something not quite right with the IT system and forms, she knows you and your colleagues will be pulling your hair out and throwing your computers off buildings.  Such frustration is likely to surpass even key substantive issues, like no one quite knowing what Article 83 of the Unified Patent Court Agreement really means (and in this respect the AmeriKat is looking to you, European patent judges, to put your heads together at the upcoming Venice conference).  

The UK IPO's UPC Taskforce therefore encourages users to test the system:  
  • in different countries, across Europe and beyond;
  • using different internet browsers and devices (i.e., that means you, iPad and android users); and
  • who are part of teams/firms and will have a single account with multiple users.  This option has been included as a result of direct feedback but the tech wizards need multiple users to test it.
Testers can provide feedback using the feedback application at the bottom-right of the prototype screen.  The current court form is the Statement of Claim form, but there will be others and further iterations so testers are encouraged to check back again whenever they can.  Changes are set out on the front page of the prototype.  The prototype will be open until the end of November 2014.  The next workshop will be in Paris at the end of the month.  

Having played around with the updated version she can see that the IT team have already incorporated many of the comments from the London workshop.  Your feedback will not go into an empty IT abyss.  So be like the AmeriKat  - fill in the form and feedback now, save your hair later.   

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Someone forgot to remove class="fa fa-twitter fa-fw" from the example code, which is why there's a Twitter logo on the "TAKE ME TO THE PROTOTYPE" button.

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