Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent

16 May 2017 Updated 5 July 2017


By art 1 of an agreement dated the 19 Feb 2013 (“the UPC Agreement”) HM Government and the governments of most of the other member states of the European Union agreed to set up a court common to the contracting parties for the settlement of disputes relating to European patents and European patents with unitary effect (“unitary patents”) which will be known as the Unified Patent Court (“the UPC”). A European patent is a patent granted by the European Patent Office under the European Patent Convention as opposed to a national patent granted by a national intellectual property office such as the IPO for the territory of a member state under its national patent legislation. A unitary patent will be a European patent for the territories of the states that ratify the above agreement.

The Agreement provides for the UPC to consist of a Court of First Instance, a Court of Appeal and a Registry. The Court of First Instance is to comprise a Central Division and regional and local Divisions. The Central Division is to have its seat in Paris with sections in London and Munich. Sites have been confirmed for local or regional divisions in Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Sweden and the UK. The Court of Appeal and the Registry will be in Luxembourg.

The Court is to open on the 1st day of the 4th month after 13 states including France, Germany and the UK have ratified the UPC Agreement. These conditions seem likely to be satisfied by September which would enable the Court to open its doors on 1 Dec 2017.

The decision of a plurality of the British electorate to withdraw from the European Union in the referendum of the 23 June 2016 and the intention of HM Government to implement that decision had cast doubt on whether the Court could open at all. On 28 Nov 2016 Baroness Neville-Rolfe who was then Minister for Intellectual Property announced that the UK will continue with preparations for ratification over the coming months and will be working to bring the UPC into operation as soon as possible.

However, it seems unlikely that the UK could continue to participate in the UPC after it leaves the EU without a radical amendment of the UPC Agreement before the UK’s departure in March 2019.

Resources


Date
Author
Title
Source
05.07/2017
Jane Lambert
NIPC News
05.06.2017
Jane Lambert
NIPC News
09.04.2017
Jane Lambert
NIPC Northwest
19.01.2017
Jane Lambert
NIPC News
18.01.2017
Jane Lambert
NIPC Law
11.10.2016
Wouter Pors
Kluwer Patent Blog
12.09.2016
Richard Gordon QC and Thomas Pascoe
Intellectual Property Lawyers Association website
03.07.2016
Jane Lambert
NIPC Law
05.04.2016
Jane Lambert
Kluwer Patent Blog
10.03.2016
Jane Lambert
NIPC Law
01.03.2016
Jane Lambert
NIPC Law
25.02.2016
Jane Lambert
NIPC Law
22.02.2016
Jane Lambert
NIPC Law
05.02.2016
Jane Lambert
NIPC Law
26.01.2016
Jane Lambert
NIPC Northwest
23.01.2015
Jane Lambert

NIPC Inventors Club
23.01.2016
Jane Lambert
NIPC Law
25.06.2014
Jane Lambert
NIPC Law
18.12.2014
Jane Lambert
NIPC Law
21.10.2014
Jane Lambert
NIPC Inventors Club
17.12.2013

Official Journal
17.12.2013

Official Journal
17.08.2013
Jane Lambert
NIPC Law
19.01.2013

UPC website
16.09.2012
Jane Lambert
NIPC Law
27.02.2012
Jane Lambert

NIPC Inventors Club
22.08.2011
Jane Lambert
NIPC Law
29.04.2011
Jane Lambert
NIPC Law
10.01.2010
Jane Lambert
NIPC Law
26.03.2009
Jane Lambert
NIPC Law
02.02.2007
Jane Lambert
NIPC Law``
27.02.2006
Jane Lambert
NIPC Law
17.01.2016
Jane Lambert
NIPC Law



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