Quick Navigation

 

Blog

First UPC element already in place in Budapest

17 March 2014 - No comments »

EPO President Benoît BattistelliLast week in Budapest, I had the pleasure of taking part in the opening of the newly established Training Centre for judges of the Unified Patent Court. This is the first concrete embodiment of the UPC project, which comprises three elements: the Court, the training service and the arbitration and mediation centre. The Hungarian authorities are to be congratulated on their swift action to enable the creation of the Centre, barely a year after the signing of the founding treaty. Those who attended the inauguration were greatly impressed by the facilities and the location, in a beautiful historic building in the heart of the Hungarian capital.

The Centre will offer excellent training conditions for the future judges and candidates. This is a vital consideration, remembering that the professional expertise and experience of the UPC judges, whether legal or technical, have been a key priority for all the parties involved in devising the arrangements for the new specialised jurisdiction. Looking at the initial feedback after assessment of the 1 300 expressions of interest received by the Preparatory Committee, there is every reason to be confident that the best possible candidates in Europe will be selected.

Many of those attending the opening have long been active in this process, especially through the regular gatherings such as the European Patent Judges’ Symposium and the Venice Judges’ Forum. In the past, meetings of patent judges have been a practical interim alternative to the creation of a common patent court, which has taken so long to materialise. These efforts to foster the development of a truly European approach among patent judges have laid the ground on which the new Training Centre in Budapest can now flourish. The EPO, which has strongly supported this undertaking from the outset, will continue to provide its technical expertise.

Some further good news regarding the UPC emerged last week. Using the possibility provided by Article 7(5) of the Agreement on the UPC, four countries – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden – have agreed to set up a regional division acting as a UPC first instance court. Meanwhile, in the UK, the House of Commons has approved the ratification of the Agreement, and the House of Lords will shortly be following suit. Finally, on 4 March, the EU Council endorsed the compromise agreement for the revision of the Brussels I Regulation, which can now be put to the vote by the European Parliament.

These combined efforts of governments and public authorities across Europe highlight their commitment to the UPC and represent an important signal to the user community, which is looking forward to rapid implementation of this long-awaited project.

Benoît Battistelli

President

 

  • Share this post:

Older posts

12.3.2014
Filing figures and trends

Last week in Brussels, I was particularly pleased to see the strong attendance of journalists and press agencies at the presentation of our annual results for 2013, despite the heavy […]

 
03.3.2014
Forging closer ties with our Asian partners

Last week, in Tokyo, I had the pleasure to address Japanese IP specialists from industry at the annual meeting of the Japan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA), which brought together hundreds […]

 
21.2.2014
Unified Patent Court (UPC) ratification moving forward

In recent weeks, the ratification of the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court has received a fresh impetus, with the completion by Malta (on 21 January) and France (on 13 […]

 
18.2.2014
Early Certainty from Search

Last year, filings at the EPO reached a new peak, with over 265 000 applications. Coping with this workload – while maintaining high quality standards – necessitates action to address […]

 
04.2.2014
Mexico joins the race for innovation

My official visit to Mexico last week was a valuable opportunity to meet the national authorities and patent system users, and also to assess the scope for reinforcing the long-standing […]

 
27.1.2014
IP valuation: a building block for success

Over the past decade, the valuation and monetisation of intellectual property have become ever more important. In the past, the approach to these matters was mainly defensive, when liquidity problems […]

 
21.1.2014
2013 at the EPO: sustaining growth and progress

The EPO filing figures for 2013 were published last week. Although they remain preliminary – largely because of the 2013 PCT applications which have yet to reach us -, the […]

 
16.12.2013
Progress in 2013 on the unitary patent package

Less than a year after the entry into force of the EU Regulations on unitary patent protection and the signing of the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court (UPC), it […]

 
03.12.2013
The EPO and SIPO reinforce their cooperation

The cooperation between the EPO and the patent office of China (SIPO) dates back almost 30 years, to the signing of the first cooperation agreement in 1985. The bilateral Heads […]