Commentary and guidance
The jurisdiction of the Unified Patent Court, within its area of competence, is somewhat broader than might be expected. Complexity arises due to the manner in which amendment of the Brussels Regulation brings the Unified Patent Court into the wider European context and the interplay between the Brussels Regulation with the Lugano Agreement.
This article considers the appointment of Unified Patent Court (UPC) judges and the composition of the panels of judges in local divisions of the UPC. It explains why local divisions may initially comprise a significant proportion of English, French and German judges.
Obtaining a European Patent with Unitary Effect will become an option for patentees prosecuting patent applications before the European Patent Office at the same time as the UPC opens its doors for business.
With the ascendency of Patent Trolls in the US, it is perhaps not surprising that some have been concerned whether the UPC will prove an attractive place for Patent Trolls to take up residence.
When the UPC opens, it will become the second so-called "common court" in the European Union, after the Benelux Court of Justice. Not strictly EU courts themselves, these courts have a recognised position in EU law, and have the ability to refer questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union. Currently 25 EU Member States are expected to join the UPC. (Although the UK has ratified the UPCA, its participation post-Brexit will be the subject of political negotiation).
This article looks at the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Rules on recoverable costs and court fees. It considers how the UPC's court fees compare to those applicable in national courts and looks at the interplay between the UPC's rules on recoverable costs and court fees.
On 10 April 2017 the Preparatory Committee for the Unified Patent Court published a new version of the draft Rules of Procedure. Although the final version of the Rules will be based on this document, it is still subject to possible change and the scrutiny of the European Commission on the compatibility of the Rules with European Union law.
What do licensors and licensees need to do to prepare their agreements for the arrival of the UPC and the Unitary Patent?
If the German Constitutional Court decides in favour of the UPC, it is expected that the Unified Patent Court will open for business in 2020. Proprietors of European “bundle” patents, applicants for such patents, SPC holders and licensees, as well as parties to research/collaboration/joint venture agreements involving such rights, will need to consider NOW how they will engage with the new court and, in particular, whether and to what extent they will opt out their European patents and applications and SPCs.
This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.