UPC drafting committee clarifies Rules but political battles remain, by Nicholas Fox & Scott Parker, Simmons & Simmons
Following a public consultation running from June to October 2013, the UPC Drafting Committee has now published a revised draft set of Rules of the Unitary Patent Court (the 16th such draft). The Legal Working Group of UPC Preparatory Committee under Johannes Karcher will now consider the latest draft and will arrange public hearings on the draft in the course of 2014.
The latest revision of the Rules of Procedure has clarified many areas of the Rules which are to be welcomed. However, the Drafting Committee’s amendments have been technical in nature and key political issues have been left for the Preparatory Committee to deal with. Key changes and outstanding issues are discussed below.
Rules on Opt-Outs clarified
Although little of substance has changed the wording of Rule 5 on opt-outs has been heavily revised to clarify the procedures for opting out. The revised Rules make it clear that all proprietors must join in an application to opt-out a patent from the jurisdiction of the court and that any opt-out will apply to all designations where a common European patent has come into effect. Any opt-out will be effective for the entire lifetime of a patent unless the opt-out is withdrawn.