Many have cried wolf in the last five years, but now it is time to take it seriously – the Unitary Patent (UP) and the Unified Patent Court (UPC) system is coming. It seemed distant and a long road to reality, but now, all of a sudden, it has entered the provisional phase following that a sufficient number of countries have deposited ratifications (Austria being the latest).
This means that parts of the UPC Agreement have come into force ahead of the new system becoming fully operational. This effectively means that the court could be up and running already by September 2022 at the earliest, but early 2023 seem a more realistic guess. What will happen now is that the court system needs to recruit necessary staff and judges. It is also likely that several remaining issues in the system and national legislation will need to be addressed. After that, the court will need to find things to do. To start off, the court’s main focus will most likely be to hear disputes regarding any patents granted by the EPO (unless those patents have been opted out) and the EPO will start granting unitary patents.
However, the dawn of the system does inevitably move ever closer and it seems necessary to remind all stakeholders of what relationship they would like to have to the UPC and what that means for the future. It seems likely that patentees will need to carefully consider and strategically prepare for the opt-out process sometime in the next eight to twelve months, especially considering the importance of the choice. This naturally raises several issues on for what patent holders opt-in or out. Several important questions remain to be solved and we will now focus on some of these issues over the coming months.
Regardless of what decision you as our stakeholder will take in your relationship to the UP and the UPC, Gulliksson and Ström & Gulliksson is up to the task to help you all the way. Gulliksson and Ström & Gulliksson with top tier patent litigators and top tier patent attorneys under the same roof and with its roots in Sweden and the greater Copenhagen region, are uniquely well suited to help clients navigate in the new landscape and provide advice on short- and long-term strategy, including assessing the merits of opting-out certain patents from the jurisdiction of the UPC in favour of litigation before the national courts in Europe. Once the system is fully operational, naturally our joint resources can help you to obtain UPs using the existing EPO procedure and enforce their patents across Europe in the UPC. Already today we have unique insights in what it is like to litigate in the UPC system, since one of our litigators Magnus Dahlman has participated in the first mock trial before the Nordic Baltic regional division.
In the coming months we will focus on the UPC and write articles on various topics relating to the new system and issues in the rules of procedure which will have effect on the decision whether to opt in or out. Considering the complexity of the system, we would also be happy to meet up and discuss our views on strategy and our unique experiences of what it is like to litigate under the UPC rules.
The Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court
Joint expertise and resources to help you navigate the new system and choose the right strategy.
As our client you will benefit from our long-standing collaboration with Ström & Gulliksson, a European patent firm with substantial knowledge of Swedish, European and international patent law. We jointly, and successfully, represent clients in national and international patent proceedings. With our top tier patent litigators and top tier patent attorneys you will reap considerable strategic and competitive benefits.
To find out more about UP and UPC and for contact information, please contact: