UPC and Unitary Patent: new opportunities for your IP rights in the EU

A European court that handles patents independently, that guarantees a higher degree of legal certainty due to it being a central authority, and that ensures that proceedings are conducted in a more efficient and cost-effective manner: that is the aim of the Unified Patent Court (UPC). The UPC will be represented at four important locations in Germany (Düsseldorf, Munich, Hamburg, and Mannheim). Along with the Court itself, a “European patent with unitary effect” (also referred to herein as a “unitary patent”) will be introduced. This will make it possible to obtain uniform patent protection in up to 24 EU member states after a European patent has been granted.

The Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA) has been formally called into question a number of times in recent years, stalling the launch of the UPC and the unitary patent. But all signs are now pointing to “go” and the UPC is expected to commence its work by the beginning of 2023 at the latest.

What’s in store for you as an internationally active company, a patent holder, or a patent applicant? What arguments are there for or against applying for a unitary patent? And what costs might you expect? We will give you all the information you need here. Everything you need to know to stay innovative in Europe and to get the most out of your IP rights!

Unitary Patent

Would you like to extend the protection of your patent(s) throughout the EU in a way that makes sense and ideally also saves you time and money? We will inform you about all the possibilities the unitary patent offers.

Unitary Patent Court

Or do you need information on how to file infringement and nullity/invalidity actions and on how to enforce your IP rights in the EU when the UPCA comes into force? In the following pages you will learn all about the jurisdictions and advantages of the UPC.

Opting out: your decision for or against the UPC

If the UPC system does not align with your current IP strategy, you can also choose to opt out of it. This means that if you opt out of the UPC, your European patents (i.e. those already granted by the EPO) will remain in the existing system for a transitional period of at least seven years and the national courts will retain their jurisdiction in matters concerning these opted-out patents. Find out more about the pros and cons of opting out here!

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