UPC: Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court

After much delay, a single patent right (the Unitary Patent) and a centralised European litigation forum (the Unified Patent Court) is now available.

Existing granted European patents are now automatically subject to the jurisdiction of the new court unless they are “opted out”. This would make a patent vulnerable to revocation by the new court. Any decision to revoke would simultaneously take effect in all countries which are a party to the new system. This includes France and Germany, key jurisdictions for many patentees.

Patentees have the option of “opting out” from the system for each granted patent. Importantly, where patents are co-owned, all proprietors must agree on the course of action. Licensees have no power to request the opt out, so should negotiate with the patent proprietor on what action to take.

If you have pending European patent applications, the Unitary Patent is now available to you at grant: it’s a single patent covering UPC member states, with a single renewal fee to pay each year after grant. The Unitary Patent will operate under a single legal system provided by the Unified Patent Court. 

We have prepared a series of updates explaining how the system will work.

Unified Patent Court summary

The “opt out” – taking existing patents out of UPC jurisdiction

Issues for licensees

Issues for possible infringers

How will the UPC work?

The Unitary Patent 

If you would like to know more, please get in touch with any of the Patents Team at GB.

This update is for information only and should not be taken as formal advice.