The UPC Chairman answers the questions of the British IP Federation about the opt-out proceedings.
On June 13th, the British IP Federation, which represents the view of UK industry in IP policy and practice, wrote an open letter to the Chairman of the Preparatory Committee of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Mr Alexander Ramsay asking him to clarify the opt-out process during the sunrise period (3 months before the entry into force of the UPC Agreement).
Six days ago, the IP Federation published on its website the reply from the chairman. In his response, Mr Ramsay addressed the following points:
- The Chairman clarified the meaning of rule 12 of the Draft Rules on the European Patent Litigation Certificate. This rule does not prevent a European Patent Attorney (EPA) with an existing alternative qualification to register during the sunrise period as a UPC Representative.
- The IP Federation had concerns that the massive influx of registrations as UPC representatives at the start of the sunrise period could create delay. But, the chairman stated that arrangements had been made to manage the expected large number of applications.
- All users, including staff members, will have to register on the Case Management System (CMS) if they want to make applications to opt out. There will be a two-stage authentication procedure to register, first as a user, then as a UPC representative on the CMS. The details of this procedure will be published in the near future on the UPC Website.
- The formalities staff will be able to prepare the opt-out applications for EPAs or representatives to file. However, the formalities staff will have to use their own user ID if they want to register the opt-out on behalf of the EPA or representative. Any user that lodges the application will be responsible for its content and must provide her user identity. Besides, a mandate will be required for any user that is not a qualifying EPA or a UPC representative.
- The proprietor of a patent will not need a mandate to opt it out. If the proprietor is a company, any member of the staff who is not a UPC representative will need to file a mandate. This is why the Preparatory Committee is considering the creation of a general mandate to authorize multiple opt-out applications by a particular user over a period.
- Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are provided by the UPC IT team in the developer section of the UPC website to enable companies to integrate the CMS to their IT systems. Also, a user-friendly guidance through the APIs and a list of third-party companies specialized in services for integration with the CMS will be published on the UPC website as soon as possible.
The Chairman did not specify any date for the start of the sunrise period.
Changes coming to the Case Management System.
On a side note, on July 5th the UPC IT team released an update to the CMS. The goal is to fine-tune different processes on the site like the opt-out application process or the procedure of patent selection. A new API was also made public on the UPC website.
A few days later, the UPC IT Working Group Coordinator Dario Pizzolante announced in a statement that a new version of the CMS specifically designed for the opt-out procedure during the sunrise period will be released in August. He also added that in the future the changes made to the CMS will not be released continuously but instead in larger updates. The IT team is currently working on the adaptation of the CMS to the rules of procedure and on the authentication mechanism. Besides, the team has been receiving feedbacks from multiple workshops since the creation of the temporary website.