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The Unified Patent Court (UPC) and the Unitary Patent

Navigating the new European 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.    


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. 


UPC Advisory Committee and UPC Budget Committee hold inaugural meetings

24 March 2022

In a recent blog post, we reported that the UPC Administrative Committee held its first meeting in Luxembourg on 22 February 2022. The UPC Budget Committee and UPC Advisory Committee have now also held their inaugural meetings, meaning that each of the UPC Governing Bodies has now started their work to ensure the effective implementation and operation of the UPC Agreement.






In the media: HSF on the UPC & UP

“The UPC and the unitary patent – the time is now” HSF feature article in PLC Magazine (part 2)

28 March 2022

In the second part of our series of feature articles on the UPC and unitary patent in PLC Magazine, The UPC and the unitary patent: the time is now (published in the April 2022 edition – pdf available here*) we review the risks and opportunities of the new court system, including jurisdictional choices, key considerations for opting patents out of the UPC, and the importance of advance assessment of licensing terms and ownership and its impact on patentee choice in terms of fora. We also explain the structure of the court, where cases will be heard, and some of the key procedural issues, as well as discussing costs, court fees and the appointment of judges.



Key Contacts