EU Commission outlines IP focus
Managing IP is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2024

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

EU Commission outlines IP focus

The head of the European Commission’s IP team has set out the EU’s priorities for 2014 in an interview with Managing IP

jorna-kerstin-400.jpg

Kerstin Jorna, director, Intellectual Property, DG Internal Market and Services, said that the Commission wants to close the legislative process on trade secrets and trade mark reform, take copyright reform further and oversee a period of intensive implementation of the unitary patent proposal.

“There’s a long list of things to be done on the unitary patent,” she said.

The Commission’s focus will be to ensure that the new patent will be cost effective for users and offer legal certainty. Other outstanding issues in the patent reform process include finalising the rules of procedure for the Unified Patent Court, appointing judges and deciding who can plead and where they can do it.

The Commission received more than 100 comments on the draft rules of procedure last year. It plans to hold a hearing in the first quarter of 2014 and for the Court’s preparatory committee to validate a provisional version of the rules.

The level of fees for obtaining a unitary patent is a controversial issue being considered by a special committee within the EPO. Although the Commission is only an observer on the member state-led body, Jorna described its role as “very active”.

The Commission wants fees to “make sense” for users, she added.

“If it is more expensive [than the current options for obtaining patent protection] then probably the people in charge of the budget department won’t bother. That is not a solution we want.”

She added that if the fees were too high for SMEs then they may opt to protect their IP with trade secrets or nothing at all.

But Jorna said she remained optimistic about the success of the new system, drawing parallels with the introduction of the European Patent system 40 years ago, where estimates of potential take-up were initially set very low.

“This is a long-term project.”

Many IP owners have suggested they may opt out of the new patent system, adopting a wait-and-see approach. But Jorna said this trend is starting to change, suggesting that companies want to be in it from the beginning rather than adapt to it later on.

“It’s a bit like swimming. When you learn at four it’s straightforward. When you try to do it at 40 it can be tricky.”

more from across site and ros bottom lb

More from across our site

The firm was among multiple winners at a record-breaking 2024 ceremony held in London on April 11
We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP
The Americas research cycle has commenced. Do not miss this opportunity to nominate your work!
Increased and new patent fees could affect prosecution strategies for law firms and companies, according to sources
Five former Oblon lawyers felt that joining Merchant & Gould would help them offer the right prices to entice clients
The UK may not be a UPC member but its firms are still acting in proceedings, with Carpmaels among the most prominent
Naomi Pearce of Pearce IP shares how she is helping her firm become a life sciences leader and how generous policies have helped attract top talent
The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal filed by Ocado, in what was a key test for transparency at the new court
Each week Managing IP speaks to a different IP lawyer or professional about their life and career
INTA is calling out ‘immoral’ unregistered attendees at the association’s annual meeting, but the debate is more nuanced
Gift this article