MPs criticise patent court plans

European scrutiny committee

Current proposals for a Unified Patent Court (UPC) could hinder rather than help businesses enforce their rights, MPs have warned.
The proposed UPC is intended to offer patent protection in 25 EU Member States at an affordable cost.

In a report published in May, however, the European Scrutiny Committee concluded the draft agreement on the UPC would increase litigation costs for small and medium-sized businesses challenging or defending the validity of patents and be more burdensome than the existing system in the UK.

Bill Cash MP, the Committee’s chair, said the proposals “would increase costs for SMEs and hinder the enforcement of patents within the EU, particularly by giving additional jurisdiction to the Court of Justice of the EU and not allowing the invalidity of a patent to be a defence to infringement proceedings.”

“The negotiations have been rushed and effectively excluded the views of European patent professions.”  The Committee called on the government to ensure the Central Division of the UPC is in London.
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