|The AmeriKat is shocked -|
-isn't August supposed to
be a quiet month?
The 8th floor of Aldgate Tower. At the edge of the City, Aldgate Tower is just around the corner from the AmeriKat's daily premises, right next to the Aldgate East Tube Station (you won't get wet if its raining) and has immediate access to all the tikka masala an IP lawyer's stomach can handle. For those readers unfamiliar with the location, the site is located about a:
- 13 minute cab ride from the Rolls Building (where IP cases at first instance are currently heard);
- 55 minute drive from Heathrow;
- 22 minute drive from London City;
- 15 minute walk to the Tower of London;
- 3 minute sprint away from the most grisly site where Jack the Ripper's victims final victim- Mary Kelly - was found (click here); and
- 5 minute walk from great coffee at Trade and a rooftop beer at The Culpepper both on Commercial Street.
|View towards Aldgate Tower (on the left).|
Aldgate East Tube is on the left and
The AmeriKat applauds the UK IPO's UPC Taskforce on finding a modern and convenient home for the UPC, especially given the constraints on budget (the funding of the location is coming from the public purse) and the governmental property hurdles that they were obligated to surmount. As Janis Makarewich-Hall, head the UK IPO's UPC Taskforce, told the AmeriKat:
"Finding a property in London that met the particular requirements of this new Court and its future users, while offering value for public funds, was a significant challenge. We assessed over 70 government and commercial properties, and engaged extensively with stakeholders throughout, before selecting this building."
|Floor plan of the 8th floor at Aldgate Tower|
"The signing of this lease represents a milestone in the UK's preparations for the introduction of the Unified Patent Court. Aldgate Tower, with its superb central location, will provide an ideal home for a modern court to support the UK's and Europe's leading edge innovative companies. This will further strengthen UK's legal and professional services sector, and reinforce London's status as a world leading centre for dispute resolution."
The announcement comes over a week after the deadline to submit comments on the proposal on the UPC's court fees (see Kat posts here on the topic). The UPC Industry Coalition - a group of global companies including Google, Microsoft and Intel- has submitted its response to the proposed court fees. In the introduction to its submissions, the coalition stated that:
The Coalition generally supports the fee schedule save that they recommend raising the fees for higher value actions to deter unreasonable damages claims and that fees for counterclaims for revocation should be avoided. On the latter, they submitted that:
"...a party should not be charged any fee for defending itself from a legal attack instigated by another party. Requiring a payment for a counterclaim of revocation may increase court funding, but it also is inconsistent with the view that invalid patents harm societies (by hampering innovation and competition without contributing anything of value) and that abusive litigation behaviors should be suppressed. Certainly those who invoke the authority—and thus the time and efforts—of the court ought to pay, but in the case of a counterclaim of revocation a defendant has not done so. They have not invoked the process of the court in the first instance, as would be the case if a party sought a revocation in an independent action, but are merely offering a defense to the infringement claims asserted against them by asserting that the patent should never have been granted by the government in the first place.Although August is a traditionally sleepy month in Europe, it will prove to be a busy month for UPC preparations. Practitioners are considering the 18th draft of the Rules of Procedure , the Preparatory Committee is digesting stakeholder comments on court fees and the designs for London's UPC court rooms will start to take shape. The next 18 months promises to be an exciting year for the UPC. Buckle up...
The fact that an invalidity defense necessitates a separate pleading is not within the defendant’s control and should not be charged against that defendant. Moreover, the revocation of an invalid patent is a societal good: There should be no extra barriers of cost to the defendants obliged to address such patents as they bring counterclaims of revocation that may well benefit society, innovation, and competition. Furthermore, the court should permit a defense of whatever type is most appropriate, and imposing fees on one who has not invoked the processes of the court in the first instance could be a real impediment to a defense, inconsistent with the basic notion of the court’s role in dispensing justice."