After over four decades of discussion, the implementation of a so-called “Unitary Patent Package”, i.e. the establishment of a Unitary Patent and a Unified Patent Court (UPC), looked to be in its final stages.
However, the challenges presented by the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the system, following its departure from the European Union, and Germany’s ongoing efforts to pass new legislation that will allow it to ratify the underlying Agreement, mean that many questions remain about how and when the system will get started.
Should the Unitary Patent Package come into being, it will provide a single approach to patent protection and enforcement across up to 24 participating European Union Member States with a combined population of around 350 million.
Using the existing European patent application procedure, a Unitary Patent will be administered centrally by the European Patent Office. Once obtained, a Unitary Patent will be enforceable throughout the participating Member States in a single action brought before the new UPC. The UPC court structure will have a number of Courts of First Instance consisting of Central, Local and Regional Divisions in various locations, along with a Court of Appeal based in Luxembourg. The Central Division will have exclusive jurisdiction over declarations of non-infringement and revocation actions (other than counterclaims), while local and regional divisions will be responsible for infringement actions and counterclaims for revocation.
OUR SPECIALIST UPC TEAM
For more information or if you would like to know more about the ways in which we can help your business, please contact one of our specialist UPC team or your usual attorney.
Our team has also compiled a number of FAQ’s which we hope will provide answers to some of your initial questions.