I have just registered for the CIPA webinars which promise to help us get practical. Book soon the first is on 27 April 2017. These webinars are free to members as it is considered desirable/essential that everyone who claims to be a patent attorney should be fully up to speed.
AIPPI also have en event on 31 May 2017 and you can book here. There should be a webinar for that too.
The main immediate concerns are
- Choosing between an UP or a conventional EPO bundle when grant decisions are imminent after the package takes effect, and
- Opt out of the UPC jurisdiction for existing European Patents
Is your client is exploiting the patent? are there licences? what are the probabilities of a dispute arising? what are the probabilities of an opposition? will your client want to maintain long term? does it envisage significant growth or being bought out?
For what I would call the ordinary SME using its own patents, only filing for true innovation, and having a fairly parsimonious attitude to renewal fees the teenage UP would probably be an unlikely survivor but it is an easy choice in the early years. The fee scale was established in 2015 so these figures are probably going to increase before you pay them.
The other big issue for UK clients is Brexit and whether the European market is available for new innovations is accessible. Its also possible the unitary region wont include the UK after Brexit but UK owners of UP will still be able to own them.
My current thinking is that the UP is good for optimistic entrepreneurs who see a growth future, but for the more established business who knows its market probably not.
To keep up to date follow BristowsUPC and for the progress of the court see the official Unified Patent Court site. You could also stroll past the court building in Aldgate and dream of appearing there