V4 Countries Launch Visegrad Patent Institute As Region’s First ISA, IPEA 08/07/2016 by Jaroslaw Adamowski for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)With the aim of strengthening regional cooperation in intellectual property, the four member states of the Visegrad Group, which comprises Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, launched the Visegrad Patent Institute (VPI) on 1 July. Applicants will be allowed to communicate with the institutions in their respective mother tongues, and fees for Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications will be reduced by as much as 40 percent, according to Poland’s Patent Office (UPRP). Alicja Adamczak, president of the UPRP, speaking at the Polish Parliament Adam Taukert, the spokesperson for the UPRP, said in a statement [available here, in Polish] that the office “is persuaded that this development will contribute to the further popularization of the possibilities to secure patents to enhance the competitiveness of Polish companies.” The institute, located in Budapest, is the first international authority to be established in the region, and it was set up by the four countries’ patent offices. Plans to establish the VPI were first unveiled by the four countries in early 2015 (IPW, Europe, 18 March 2016). In October 2015, the PCT Assembly (at the World Intellectual Property Organization) appointed the VPI as an International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) under the PCT. “The VPI aims to commence operation as an International Authority on 1 July 2016 and will be the first such Authority in the Central European and Baltic Region,” WIPO said in its PCT Newsletter [pdf, in English]. “The undoubted advantage, especially for small and medium-sized companies, will be the possibility to communicate with the Visegrad Patent Institute in a national language during international procedure, file an international application in a national language, and reduce application fees incurred by the applicants,” Anna Grzelak, a Polish and European patent attorney and partner at the WTS Patent Attorneys law firm in Warsaw, Poland, wrote in her analysis [pdf, in English]. This said, as noted by Grzelak, it should “be kept in mind that the success of VPI will be determined by the quality of searches and examinations conducted by this authority which – so as to make the body competitive – shall not diverge from the quality of search and reports issued by the EPO.” EU Context The initiative to intensify regional patent cooperation is launched shortly following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union in the 23 June referendum. While it remains unclear how the British government, and the country’s new prime minister to be named later this year, will proceed following the vote, the so-called “Brexit” is likely to impact on the EU’s plans to implement its much-awaited patent package. The European Commission (EC) said in a statement [in English] its patent package “will establish a European patent with unitary effect (the ‘unitary patent’) and a new patent court. The unitary patent is a legal title that will provide uniform protection across 26 EU countries on a one-stop-shop basis, providing huge cost advantages and reducing administrative burdens,” the EC said. “The package will also set up a Unified Patent Court that will offer a single, specialised patent jurisdiction.” According to the Commission, its patent package comprises a regulation creating a European patent with unitary effect, the Unitary Patent; a Regulation setting up a language regime applicable to the unitary patent; and an agreement between EU member states to establish the UPC, a single and specialised patent jurisdiction. Germany, France and the UK were designed to ratify the agreement to establish the UPC, with London expected to serve as the court’s location. However, these plans have been derailed by the UK’s vote to exit the EU, and, as a result, the deadline of launching the UP and UPC in 2017 seems unlikely. The EU’s patent package will come into effect when 13 member states have ratified the Unified Patent Court agreement. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Jaroslaw Adamowski may be reached at email@example.com."V4 Countries Launch Visegrad Patent Institute As Region’s First ISA, IPEA" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.