|The only time anything "tender" comes into the|
AmeriKat's life is when she rolls over
to show her belly....
- On 28 October 2015, the Commission's Single Market Strategy announced that:
"The Unitary Patent system will play an essential role in enabling innovation in the participating Member States. Europe is now on the cusp of making this patent a reality and establishing the European patent specialised court for which the industry has been calling for decades. However, the key challenge now is to get the endgame right, including addressing uncertainties over how the Unitary Patent will work together with national patents and national supplementary protection certificates (SPC) granted under the SPC regime and the possible creation of a unitary SPC title.".
- As a result of this strategy, a tender was announced to study the legal aspects of SPCs in the EU. The terms of reference, which are no longer available online, can be found here (with thanks to the Commission for sending through a copy). The study was to be used by the Commission:
"...for an overall evaluation of the SPC system in the EU and to inform the decision on whether to come forward with a new SPC title at European level and whether to revise the existing SPC legislation."
- This tender closed in February 2016. The Commission received a very limited number of bids, none of which met the requirements of the tender. This may have been because the original tender covered too many topics for a single study.
- As a result, the tender has to be re-launched. This will hopefully be in May 2016.
- The Commission is ironing out details of the revised tender, but it may decide to split the topics into two tenders, each with a more limited scope, to make the exercise more manageable.
- In the meantime, the Commission is continuing work on how national SPCs may be granted on the basis of Unitary Patents. After this work is completed, they will next tackle Unitary SPCs granted on the basis of Unitary Patents.