The Lawyer’s new China Elite report contains the most detailed research available on the PRC legal market and contains unparalleled insight into the country's leading law firms. They vary in size, practice focus and geographic coverage, but they all share one common quality – ambition... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
Europe moved a step closer to having a fully integrated patent judiciary this week. The draft European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA) gained momentum after internal markets commissioner Charlie McCreevy gave his support to the proposal. If implemented, it would create a common litigation court.
Although trademarks have a pan-European registrar and central court, patents do not. Patents can be filed centrally at the European Patent Office (EPO) but not litigated in a central court. One of the hurdles to pan-European patent integration has been language. France has long said 'non' to the London Protocol, which would allow patents to be filed in English, German or French rather than in all 21 EU languages.
But EPO president Alain Pompidou hinted that France was finally ready to sign after substantial international pressure, boosting hopes for a unified approach to patents.
It has come at an important time. With China's IP system developing at pace, Europe is in need of a united front to promote innovation and strengthen IP rights just to keep up.