Ean is a Partner in our Electronics & Software team, based in our Manchester office. He has a particular interest in telecoms, having spent the first few years in the profession working in-house for Nokia. He regularly handles subject matter ranging from RADAR systems, signal processing and digital systems to pipe couplings, medical devices and production equipment.
Ean jointly heads our Education sector team and works for a range of clients, including Universities (in the UK and abroad), global corporations and SMEs, operating in and around the Manchester area. He particularly enjoys working with up and coming companies, including spin-outs, helping them to identify and protect their intellectual property. He has experience of hearings before the UK and European Patent Office and frequently advises clients on contentious issues where their rights may be infringed or where they are accused of infringing the rights of others.
Before entering the patent profession, Ean spent several years working as a design engineer for Marconi and Motorola. This real-life commercial experience was invaluable and gives Ean an insight into some of the challenges faced by clients.
Ean was also mentioned in Managing Intellectual Property’s IP Stars guide in 2017 and described as a “problem solver” by a client.
Until now patents in Europe have been granted by national patent offices or by the European Patent Office (EPO). However no true unitary “European patent” has existed. Rather, the “European patent” is in reality a bundle of national patents, requiring individual renewal, and country-by-country litigation.
A new system will soon come into being, establishing a Unitary Patent (UP) and a Unified Patent Court (UPC).
Most European Union (EU) countries have joined. However Spain has stayed out. The UK has joined, but will leave the EU presently.
Patents will be granted by the European Patent Office (EPO), operating under its current law and practice. When the EPO grant a patent there will now be a new option: to hold a Unitary Patent (UP). However the current type of “EP patent” can still be taken, if preferred.
National patent filing options are unaffected.
The new Unified Patent Court (UPC) will handle all litigation arising from UP cases. Non-unitary European Patents (EPs) and supplementary protections certificates (SPCs) will be subject to both the jurisdiction of the UPC and of the national courts; but the UPC jurisdiction can be opted-out of, for a transitional period of at least 7 years.
The judgements of the UPC will be binding throughout all participating states of the UP system.
The UPC will have divisions in London, Munich, Paris and in other European cities. Where an action is heard depends on the technical subject matter and the locations of the parties.
There will be a three-month “sunrise period” before entry into force, for optionally opting-out existing EP patents/applications from the jurisdiction of the UPC.
The start date is not set but we just await ratification by Germany. Commencement in 2019 is widely expected.
Patent applicants need to be ready for the start of the system and to decide, broadly, whether they want to go with the UP/UPC system or whether to make use of the measures to avoid it, perhaps until it settles down.
For more information about options and planning please see our more detailed note An Overview of the Unitary Patent & Unified Patent Court.
Friday 13 July
Friday 6 April
The UK is a key territory for patent protection, providing a high-quality, cost-effective IP jurisdiction. The UK also provides "Patent Box" tax incentives for corporate patent owners.Learn more
Thursday 1 December
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