Just a very quick note to say that I have just been informed by my national representative body of the entry into force of the London Protocol for May 1st, 2008. Three cheers, and drinks all round !!!
On the down side, it is interesting to note that our national body, the CNCPI, were informed of France's deposition of its instruments of ratification by the German Ministry of Justice. One would have thought that the INPI/French government would have been kind enough to inform us before everyone else (some British and German colleagues knew before we did, take a look at, e.g. the IPKat blog). Obviously, we are in the dog's house with the French Ministry of Industry and Commerce now that we are going to defect to the Ministry of Justice, or maybe we are just being snubbed in general by the government. I wouldn't be totally surprised considering how we've behaved over the past year or so, humming and hahing, blowing hot and cold, and generally kicking up a stink when it came to the question of translations (among other things).
Well, at last, the wood is starting to be seen through the trees. I can see much belt tightening and gnashing of teeth in store for those French firms who haven't planned financially for the drop off in easy money that the coming into force of the protocol will cause. At least I can now tell my clients that they will be able to make some savings when it comes to validating their European patents. Better than a knock in the teeth with a spiked cricket bat (not that I've ever seen one, mind you, or isn't that what they used to call a cudgel ? - we English are so civilized)
Come on, all we need now is the EPLA and we'll have some semblance of a unitary system of law throughout the EU. Astute readers will note that in my Euroland gung-ho approach I haven't said anything about the Community patent. IMHO, this will remain an economically unviable pipe dream until the various nations can pull their fingers out and do away with the requirement of having everything translated into whatever minority language we can think of adding at ever decreasing intervals as the Union expands. But I shall leave my criticism of that for another day, time to crack open that bottle of champagne that I paid with all those fees gained from translation last year :-)) after all, next year I might be sipping water and riding a bicycle !!!