Intellectual Property Law firm Murgitroyd Expands in Munich, Patent Capital of Europe

MUNICH – – European Law firm Newswire – The decision by the global intellectual property firm Murgitroyd, to expand its German operation with a move to larger premises in Munich, the “capital city” for patents as far as both Germany and Europe are concerned, comes at a key moment in the establishment of the European Unitary Patent. In November, the firm will move to offices on Hackerbrücke, just a stone’s throw away from the European Patent Office (EPO), which will position Murgitroyd at the very heart of the European patent protection process.

The move coincides with a critical phase in the establishment of the European unitary patent, the aim of which is to boost the value of patent protection by making it cheaper and faster to enforce an EU-wide patent. Currently, several key items in the draft legislation are at a critical stage of negotiation.

A main point of contention is the inclusion of Articles 6, 7 and 8 of the draft legislation – the EU Heads of State have asked the European Parliament to consider deleting these Articles on the advice of the EPO and their national patent offices, as they have the effect of linking infringement under the new patent law to established EU law and as such would make it possible for either side in a dispute to create lengthy delays in the patent hearing process.

However, there are many in the European Parliament who are worried about what they term “a weakening of the democratic purpose”. They argue that the EPO, which is run by the heads of the various European national patent offices, is an unelected body and should not be allowed to influence anything to do with the rights of ordinary citizens to pursue their business.

One key element agreed upon is the group of locations for the new central patent court – the main court will be in Paris with divisions in Munich and London. If the unitary patent does make it into law, users will have a choice of starting action in a local court or in the central chamber (Munich for mechanical patents, London for life sciences and pharma, and Paris for electronics and telecommunications).

Murgitroyd Director Graham Murnane points out that clients stand to gain enormously if and when the unitary patent becomes EU law. “Most importantly”, he adds, “they will be able to take legal action in their own local unitary patent court to stop Europe-wide infringement of their European patent. This is in contrast to the present system of separate national patent applications, or a single European patent application which must be converted to separate national patents after grant, with separate infringement proceedings necessary in each country in order to enforce the patent across Europe”.

Jamie LeLiever, Head of Global Sales and Marketing at Murgitroyd comments: “Whatever the outcome of the unitary patent discussions between the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, expanding in Munich will be a tremendous boost for our clients and prospective clients. We have taken additional office space which will give our clients the opportunity to use our offices for briefings when attending patent hearings or appeals at the EPO,” he says.

LeLiever adds: “We have three highly experienced patent and trademark attorneys in Munich, with Graham Murnane, who specialises in mechanical engineering cases, heading up the firm’s European opposition and appeals team. Robert Börner, an experienced German and European patent and trade mark attorney has physics and mechanical engineering specialisms while the third member of the team, Stefanie Jeske, is a German patent attorney specialising in the life sciences.”

In addition, LeLiever points out, the Munich team is able to call on the support of Murgitroyd specialists across its 15 global offices, providing a full service for European clients as well as for US and Australiasian clients seeking to file patents in Europe or to defend patent infringements at the European patent court. Graham Murnane adds that already the Munich office is seeing a steady stream of enquiries coming from the firm’s US client and prospect base.

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