February 2014

Scottish patent court

Pete Wishart MP tabled a Law Society of Scotland amendment to the Intellectual Property Bill, to try to ensure Scottish inventors and businesses can continue to enforce or defend their intellectual property rights in a Scottish court. The Law Society is concerned that a failure to maintain a dedicated patent court in Scotland risks damaging Scottish businesses which rely upon patents to protect valuable technologies and innovation.

The Intellectual Property Bill, once enacted, will pave the way for establishing a new patent court system in the UK. The Bill provides for (up to four) possible local divisions of the new Unitary Patent Court, but none are currently planned for Scotland. At present, inventors and businesses in Scotland can litigate their patent rights in the Court of Session. The Law Society wants this right to remain. The Society has therefore recommended that the legislation is amended to ensure that the three separate legal jurisdictions in the UK - England & Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland - are each granted a patent court under the new system.

Full details on the Bill and the Society's comments can be found here.