M. Névant (FR), Editorial CommitteeM. Névant (FR), Editorial Committee

Field of dreams

“If you build it, he will come”

In the movie “Field of Dreams“, Ray Kinsella, the character played by Kevin Costner – an Iowa farmer - hears while walking through his cornfield a voice whispering “If you build it, he will come”, and sees a vision of a baseball diamond in his field and the great Shoeless Joe Jackson (a baseball player from the early 1900s). Ray figures that if he builds a baseball field, Shoeless Joe (whom his father idolized) will come and play baseball.

Drawing a parallel with our "little world” leads me to think of that day in December 1975 when the Community convention on the European patent for the common market (aka the “Community patent”) was signed. The Fathers of that Convention deeply believed that strong legal foundations were a pre-requisite for a patent that would one day be valid throughout all the member states of the (then) European Community and could be litigated before a single common Court.

The story of the Community patent has been an emotional rollercoaster over years, and the latest developments on the UPC are no different in this respect. Recent news from Germany triggered renewed optimism: the German government has submitted in June a new draft bill to ratify the UPCA swiftly after the Federal Constitutional Court (FCC) declared void the (previous) ratification. As this editorial is being written, the UK has just notified the secretariat of the European Council that it withdraws its ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (see here the announcement from the UPC Preparatory Committee). It remains to be seen how the States party to the UPCA will handle the relocation of the Central Division which until then was meant to be in London. Like a never ending story, the next 6 to 12 months will probably be decisive for the fate of the UPC. Some observers indeed predict that another constitutional complaint will be filed with the FCC when the Bundestag has passed the new ratification bill.

On a rather different point, the first ever e-Council meeting was successfully organized on 29th June 2020. On that occasion Council members elected a new Board as well as auditors and members of the Disciplinary Committee. A report on the meeting is included in this issue. On behalf of the Editorial Committee, I sincerely congratulate all those who have been (re)elected and wish them all the best for their term of office.

This issue of epi Information is published while some of our readers are on or just return from a holiday break. On behalf of the Editorial Committee I wish all our members well and hope that those who are about to take a break will enjoy it.