From October 2016 to March 2017 the team is joined by Guest Kats Rosie Burbidge and Eibhlin Vardy, and by InternKats Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo, Tian Lu and Hayleigh Bosher.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

UPC-ing is Believing: Preview of London's UPC location

The AmeriKat steps foot onto
the carpet of the new
London UPC location
After wringing the London rain from her whiskers and tail in the lobby of Aldgate Tower last Wednesday, the AmeriKat bounced up to the 8th floor where she was greeted by a bevy of UPC glitterati who were gathered, at the invitation of Baroness Neville-Rolfe (UK Intellectual Property Minister), to see the site of the UK's Central Division and local division hosted in London (see previous posts here and here).   The space felt cavernous but as soon as the walls are up as per the plan (see below) there won't be too much room to swing a cat (not that you would ever do that, of course).

According to the press release, the reception was aimed at giving the Minister an opportunity to thank some of the people who have helped and advised the IPO in selecting the facility and on the UPC, generally. 

The guests being thanked by Baroness
So no surprise that members of the judiciary in the form of Mr Justice Birss and Mr Justice Arnold, Chair of the Drafting Committee of the Rules of Procedure Committee Kevin Mooney (Simmons & Simmons), Alan Johnson (Bristows), Margot Frohlinger (EPO) and representatives from the IPBar Association, IP Federation and CIPA were in attendance.  They, together with the other invitees, were treated to a tour of the blank canvas of the 8th floor and invited to gaze upon early draft plans for the UPC court space. 

Of the location, Baroness Neville-Role stated that:
“We needed a location that was convenient, dignified and, given that patents are about innovation and novelty, preferably one that was modern. Aldgate Tower ticks all those boxes.”
Anyone will tell you:  its
not what you have,
its swatch you do with it.
The AmeriKat agrees.  The building and space, although empty, felt to her strangely more modern and "buzzy" than the Rolls Building (which is only celebrating its 4th birthday this Autumn). ["Just wait until the lawyers get there..." chimes Merpel].
For years the AmeriKat has been agonizing over the legal issues related to the UPC - what are we going to do about the transitional period mess under Article 83, how are judges going to exercise their discretion in granting preliminary injunctions and how do you even go about enforcing a saisie in the UPC?    However, for a brief moment, those pressing concerns escaped her as she approached a table full of swatches that were on hand to help everyone visualize the look and feel of the UPC in London (see photo to the right). 

The furniture - by which the AmeriKat understands to be chairs, cabinets, bookshelves and the like - will be in a black matte finish.  The benches are in a "Winter Oak", while the carpet for the public/common meeting rooms will be in what is described as "Bilberry" (see link to the product details here).  For those who want some pub trivia, a bilberry is a berry which is native to Europe and closely related to the North American-native blueberry.  

It is always embarrassing when
you show up to an event
and match the carpet swatches
(thankfully it wasn't the AmeriKat)
The AmeriKat understands that the pinstripe carpeting in the top left corner of the photo to the left will be in the court rooms.  This will be particularly useful for all of those pinstripe suit clad lawyers who want to quickly disappear when their party-party correspondence is read out in open court by a UPC judge.  The lighter grey carpet (top right corner and as above in the first picture) will be in the common areas (i.e. hallways, lobby, etc).  The purple, as noted above, will be in the common meeting rooms.  This led one observer to comment that, surely, the purple carpet should be in the court rooms given its regal history (see link here). 

Surface decoration aside, the AmeriKat was struck by view (or what would have been a view had the rain clouds not obfuscated it).  From the north end of the building you can see the office lights of the City's most recognizable buildings, including the Gherkin (aka 30 St Mary Axe).  With a view like this, there will be no illusion for London's UPC court users that they are indeed in London (an issue that the Docklands site was criticized for).   But before users can admire the view, there is the matter of building the court rooms.  Building work will be starting later in the year and is likely to be completed by Spring 2016.

Court rooms in light blue, meeting rooms in dark blue and
judge's/staff premises in green.  The section in purple
on the side is the balcony - lucky judges!  But remember,
this is just a "Draft" plan.

In the meantime, the various work streams of the UPC Preparatory Committee are continuing.  Last week, the Case Management System was presented by the IT Working Group to the Expert Panel (to have your say click here) and a discussion on the summary responses following the court fee consultation was held with members of the Joint Fee Sub-group.   The next EPO Select Committee is scheduled for 13 and 14 October 2015 which should allow Italy to participate as a full member in the remaining discussions following its request to join the Unitary Patent System(details of the last Select Committee meeting can be found here).  The next UPC Preparatory Committee meeting is scheduled on 19 October 2015. 

So for all of those disbelievers out there (and she used to be one), the AmeriKat assures you - once you see the UPC carpet swatches, you start to believe that the UPC is actually going to happen.  Roll on post-trial curries in Brick Lane!

1 comment:

TreatyNotifier said...

Annsley, any word during the tour on the Protocol on provisional application of the UPC Agreement? I am still looking for a draft text (and can only assume it will allow the governing bodies to be constituted, judges to be hired (?); as well as the (pre)registration of opt outs. I can't find a draft however, and it is supposed to be signed in next week

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