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The Unified Patent Court (UPC) and the Unitary Patent

Navigating the new EU patent system



The introduction of the European patent package - the creation of a single court in which to hear European patent disputes (the Unified Patent Court (UPC)) plus a unitary patent right (UP) across most of the EU - is the culmination of decades of work, but is now in its final stages: the Provisional Application Period has commenced and practical preparations can now be made for the start of the new court as early as autumn 2022.

Once the new system is in place it will bring with it fundamental changes to the way in which patents can be litigated in Europe. This Hub aims to give you the background you need on the practical changes introduced by the UPC and UP system, including the implications for patent litigation and patent filing strategies. Click on the boxes below for more information.    



The UPC is GO! Sufficient ratification of the Protocol on Provisional Application means the UPC is guaranteed to commence and final practical preparations can now be made for a start that could be as early as Autumn 2022

19 January 2022

The General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, has declared that the Protocol on Provisional Application of the UPC Agreement has entered into force today (19.01.22) after Austria deposited its instrument of ratification of the Protocol yesterday, giving legal capacity to the court and allowing the provisional application period to commence. The final practical preparations for the new court system can now be made, safe in the knowledge that the UPC will commence.  Work will include the setting up of the functional committees which will run the new court system, the recruitment and training of judges, the practical arrangements for the new court locations and finalisation of the UPC Rules of Procedure.



How can we help?

Our fully integrated, market leading team, is on the ground in France, Germany, Italy and the UK and has decades of experience in running multi-jurisdictional patent litigation in respect of our clients' most valuable products, including experience in the jurisdictions which will inform the UPC's procedure in due course. Once commenced, the new UPC system will have jurisdiction over EPs in all participating EU member, but litigation will also need to continue in non-participating EPC states (including the UK and three EU MSs) as well as in national courts in relation to EPs opted out of the new system. So the execution and management of multi-jurisdictional patent litigation will still be a key element of patent enforcement in Europe, in which our team has unrivalled experience. We will be able to use legal, technical and strategic skills from across our whole European team to give you the best advice on your matters, with the qualifications necessary to handle cases whether they are in the UPC or key national courts. 

For more information and advice on preparing for the new system, please contact Sebastian Moore, or any of the other key contacts listed below. Please see also our quick guide to the UPC and unitary patents, via the boxes below. 

Key Contacts