Portugal Backs Centralised Litigation and Community Patent

Portugal, which recently took over the EU presidency, has outlined its plans to move discussions on a European patent litigation system and the Community Patent forward over the next six months.

According to a document presented to the Working Party on Intellectual Property, the Portuguese Presidency has scheduled four Council Working Parties for the second half of 2007. The first three will be concerned with litigation, with the fourth group concentrating on open issues surrounding the Community Patent.

The document, which is titled "Towards an enhanced patent litigation system and a community patent - How to take discussions further", was published by the Council of the European Union on 12 July and is available online from the Public Register of Council Documents.

It outlines how Portugal plans to build on the work of the German Presidency and develop the "features and technical details required for a legally secure, cost effective and non-discriminatory patent litigation system around which consensus could be built among Member States and stakeholders."

Work will focus on the following issues:

Degree and mode of decentralisation of the first instance of the litigation system

1.Features of the second instance

2.Qualification of judges and technical expertise in court proceedings

3.Allocation of cases and relationship with the Brussels I regulation

4.Rules of procedure

5.Provisional and precautionary measures

6.Operating costs

7.Arbitration procedures

8.Community patent