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最新ニュース

2月 2019

Have your say: Public consultation on the EPO's Strategic Plan 2023

The public consultation on the EPO's Strategic Plan runs from January 23 to March 15 2019 and is focussed on three topics:

1. Evolution of the patent system and future challenges
2. Delivering high quality products and services
3. Social responsibility and transparency

Download the EPO's Strategic Plan contribution template here.

2月 2019

EPO study on patents and self-driving vehicles

A study published today, 6 November 2018, by the European Patent Office (EPO) reveals that innovation in self-driving vehicles (SDV) is accelerating fast and finds that patent protection strategies in the area of self-driving vehicle technology more closely resemble those in the information and communication (ICT) sector than those in the traditional automotive industry.

2月 2019

BREXIT News

Consequences for IP owners - Brexit

The UK is preparing to exit the European Union as of March 29, 2019. The BREXIT will have consequences and may quite significantly affect owners of IP rights, in particular of EU trademarks and EU designs. Therefore, we have been closely monitoring the developments regarding this upcoming UK exit from the European Union and the negotiations conducted throughout the whole period since the decision to exit was made.

Deal or no deal

Until the date of exit the UK will remain part of the EU and the status after the exit depends on whether a deal can be reached between the UK and the EU. In case a deal is reached, there will be a further transitional period in which the status quo is maintained and no necessity will be given to re-apply for trademarks or designs.

In case no deal is reached, the UK will no longer be part of the EU trademark and EU design system. Today, it is quite likely that we need to expect a "no deal situation".

Consequences for trademark and design rights in the case of a Brexit without deal

UK authorities (Government and UKIPO) have always assured that an automatic conversion of EU registrations will take place to an equivalent national UK right. Furthermore, the same authorities also assured that applicants of pending applications will be given the possibility to file a request for conversion to a UK application – most likely within nine months. Considering the above, it seems that there is no urgent necessity to re-file EU trademarks and/or EU designs in UK, even in the "no deal" scenario.

Our advice

A "no-deal" seems likely and no one really knows how the situation will develop. Moreover, it remains to be seen whether the UK Government's past promises will be kept. Therefore, we kindly advise all owners of EU trademarks and EU designs to carefully consider their position in the UK.

It might be worth considering to file a national UK application separately from your pending EU trademark and/or design in order to obtain legal certainty, in particular with respect to issues of use/non-use and enforcement, and to avoid any risk of possible loss of dates or rights.

Please do not hesitate to contact us in case of questions. We would be very pleased to assist you, in particular with the filing of trademarks or designs in UK.

12月 2018

User consultation on increased flexibility in the timing of the examination process - introduction of a postponed examination system

The European Patent Office invites stakeholders to take part in an online consultation on the possibility of allowing more flexibility in the timing of the examination process by offering means to postpone the examination of European patent applications.

Details can be found here.

5月 2018

European Intellectual Property Seminar Japan 2018

Details can be found here.

5月 2018

UPC Update - UK ratifies the Convention on the Unified Patent Court (UPC) (commented by Rainer K. Kuhnen)

What seemed uncertain for a long time happened on April 26, 2018: The UK has ratified the proposed Convention on the Unified Patent Court (UPC). By this, Britain has taken an important step to participate in the planned European Unity Patent. In view of the uncertain outlook regarding the terms on which Britain will be leaving in March 2019, this step seems only logical now, as it at least temporarily secures Britain's participation in the new European standard patent system.

Thus, the only obstacle to the entry into force of the new unitary patent system left is the German Federal Constitutional Court, to which all eyes are turning now. As is well known, a constitutional complaint against the ratification of the Convention on the Unified Patent Court is currently pending, which is why Germany's ratification which is mandatory for the new Unitary Patent System to enter in force, is on hold.

This constitutional complaint did not come unexpected, there were and still are doubts in the professional circles as regards the legal basis of the new Unitary Patent System. But given the enormous political pressure from all sides, it seems more than questionable whether the German Federal Constitutional Court actually wants to take the blame for stopping the decades-long effort to establish a "European patent" with a unified jurisdiction literally in the very last minute, just because a single German lawyer has declared constitutional concerns.

In any case, when the German Federal Constitutional Court decides on the constitutional complaint in the middle of this year, we will know more. Until then it remains exciting.

4月 2018

European Intellectual Property Seminar Freising 2018

Please find here more details of the program of our seminar from October 7 to 12, 2018 and register online.

4月 2018

European Intellectual Property Seminar Japan 2018

These are the dates of our Japanese Seminars this year:

September 10, 2018 in Osaka,
September 11, 2018 in Nagoya and
September 13, 2018 in Tokyo.

More details will follow.

4月 2018

Interview with Rainer K. Kuhnen in the "Lawyer Monthly" Magazine

Lawyer Monthly Magazine, April 2018

3月 2018

Latest news with regard to the effect of the Brexit on EU trademarks and Community designs

The UK and the European Union (EU) have agreed that there will be a transition period from March 29, 2019, to December 31, 2020, during which the UK will remain part of the EU (with some exceptions most of the EU law will be applicable to and in the UK during the transition period). It was further agreed that owners of EU trademarks and Community designs will have their rights protected in the UK after the transition period. That means that there is no need to double file trademarks and designs at the EUIPO and the UK Intellectual Property Office until the end of the transition period. Moreover, until the end of the transition period (December 30, 2020) trademark and design protection with effect to the UK can still be obtained by filing an EU trademark or Community design.

The announcement comes as part of the release of the EU and UK government's draft agreement on the latter's withdrawal from the EU, published on March 19, 2018. The draft agreement includes provisions on protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property (IP) rights after the end of the transition period. While the agreement is still a draft, some of the provisions on protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property (IP) rights are finalized on a negotiator's level (i.e. it can be assumed that these provisions will not be subject to a substantive revision anymore).

According to such a provision finalized on a negotiator's level, the owners of the EU trademarks and Community designs shall, without any re-examination, become the holder of a comparable registered and enforceable trademark or design in the UK.

Specifics of creating equivalent UK trademarks and designs from existing EU trademarks and Community designs is still up for negotiation. It will be interesting to see whether such creation of equivalent UK trademarks and designs will be possible without charge or administrative burden to rights owners or not (as is actually proposed by the EU in the draft agreement). There are other points of detail which need to be agreed, particularly the ability for UK chartered trademark attorneys to continue to represent clients and businesses before the EUIPO, for example.

However, at least uncertainty about the need to double file trademarks and designs at the EUIPO and the UK Intellectual Property Office is ended by the latest agreement between the UK and the EU.

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