Friday, November 04, 2005

TOP IP JUDGES CALL FOR EU PATENT COURT: Europe’s top IP judges made an unusual move this week by kicking off a campaign to create a unified European patent court, following a top-level meeting of lawyers last month. The ‘judges’ resolution’, is to form the basis of a campaign to lobby European Union (EU) governments on the issue.

The proposed European Patent Court, would function as a unified court of first instance and a single appeal body for all cross-border patent disputes. The campaign attempts to pick up the pieces from the European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA), which established the original framework for litigation reform in 1999.

The EPLA proposes a central European patent court, with local ‘sub-courts’ operating in eight major jurisdictions, including the UK, Germany and France. The initial agreement states that the majority of cases would be heard in English, but other languages would be considered as well (the Commission has been bogged down over the languages that patents are filed and heard under). The judges will now circulate the resolution to the governments of EU member states in an effort to put pressure on the Commission to support the EPLA.

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