On 26 January 2024, the Headquarters Agreement was signed by the President of the Court of Appeal of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), Klaus Grabinski, and the Director General for Europe of the Italian Foreign Ministry, Nicola Verola, formally confirming the location of the third section of the Central Division of the UPC in Milan. […]
Unified Patent Court
The unitary patent system provides a new European patent right along with an entirely new court system (the Unified Patent Court or UPC) to hear disputes relating to both unitary patents and European patents validated in participating member states.
A fundamental aim of the UPC system is to provide fast and cost effective litigation of European patents. When compared to litigation in national courts across Europe, the UPC will provide more cost effective patent enforcement and revocation. Litigation will take place via a single action lodged at the UPC rather than separate actions across European courts.
Proceedings at the UPC will be predominantly based on written evidence and, in line with litigation on continental Europe, some of the more expensive aspects of common law litigation such as discovery and expert witness testimony are expected to be less common. Revocation actions will bear a close resemblance to EPO Opposition and Appeal proceedings, albeit with shorter deadlines and a shorter duration between launch and a final decision.
How we can help
Our services include handling all aspects of revocation actions and supporting infringement actions before the UPC. As a completely new court system, the UPC will be heavily influenced by the case law and processes of the European patent office (EPO) so the knowledge and experience of our European patent attorneys will be central to any litigation before the UPC, whether acting as advocates, or technical experts in a wider litigation team.
The intention of the legislators is for the UPC to be lean, fast and efficient. We firmly believe that this will encourage a system where there is no “one size fits all” litigation.
Whilst blockbuster litigation will remain, the UPC will make patent litigation economically viable to sectors for whom expensive litigation was previously out of reach.
With this new generation of would-be litigators, practitioners will have to be flexible, tailoring revocation and infringement actions to suit their clients’ budget and goals. Whilst litigation should never be entered into lightly, we have the diversity and experience to offer litigation support that is agile enough to meet these challenges.