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UPC: Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court
After much delay, the plan to create a single patent right (the Unitary Patent) and a centralised European litigation forum (the Unified Patent Court) appears to be back on track. It is currently due to take effect towards the end of 2022.
Existing granted European patents will automatically be 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. From the very start, this will include France and Germany, key jurisdictions for many patentees.
Patentees have the option of “opting out” from the system for each granted patent, before the system takes effect. 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.
We have prepared a series of updates explaining how the system will work and what to do to prepare.
This update is for information only and should not be taken as formal advice.