Today, Yves Bot, Advocate General at the European Court of Justice, published his opinion on Spain's actions against the unitary patent in Europe. Spain is seeking annulment of the European regulation on the creation of unitary patent protection and the regulation governing the applicable translation arrangements.
In his opinion, the Advocate General stated that Spain's actions should be dismissed.
Regarding the creation of unitary patent protection, he noted that the European regulation only attributes to European patents an additional characteristic, namely unitary effect. He stated that this brings real benefit in terms of uniformity and hence of integration.
In respect of the regulation governing the applicable translation arrangements, he acknowledged that persons who do not know German, French and English will be discriminated against. However, in his view, the limitation on the number of languages for the European patent with unitary effect is appropriate because it enables a significant reduction in translation costs.
It remains to be seen whether the Court of Justice of the European Union will follow the opinion of the Advocate General in their final judgement, to be made at a later date.
The link to the opinion is accessible here for more information contact Nick Burton at firstname.lastname@example.org
OHIM to offer Fast Track Community Trade Mark Applications ...
The Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) will shortly be offering users the option to ""Fast Track"" their Community Trade Mark (CTM) applications.
From 24 November 2014, OHIM will only examine CTM applications after the applicant has paid the official fees. Coinciding with this change, OHIM will offer users the option to Fast Track their application to publication, for free.
For an application to qualify for Fast Track it must not contain any classification deficiencies. This means that applicants must select goods and services from the pre-validated and pre-translated list of terms in OHIM's harmonised database. Payment must also be made at the end of the application process or immediately after submission. OHIM has designed a new five-step form which will alert users as to whether their application qualifies for fast track or not. If the application does not qualify, the user will have the option to make amendments, or to proceed with a ""standard"" application.
Further information and our comments about the new Fast Track option can be found in our News Brief.
The government introduced the Patent Box, a tax incentive to encourage hi-tech businesses to commercialise their intellectual property in the UK by reducing corporation tax on the resulting income, in April 2013. It is now being reported, ahead of the G20 summit in Brisbane this week, that changes will be made to this flagship government policy in settlement of a dispute with Germany. It had been argued that the incentive encouraged businesses to shift their profits to the UK to avoid tax elsewhere, contrary to the aims of the single market.
The revised scheme will still provide tax breaks for patents directly tied to research and innovation carried out in the UK whilst avoiding breaches of international rules that stop aggressive tax avoidance.
For details of the Patent Box, please contact Garry Stuttard at email@example.com or David Stanners at firstname.lastname@example.org
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