UPC Update | Operation started!

Unified Patent Court (UPC) has started its operation on June 1, 2023. The UPC system simplifies patenting in Europe such that it is possible to request for unitary effect for a granted European patent in the countries, which have ratified the UPC Agreement (UPCA) (17 EU member states in the beginning). A European patent with unitary effect may also be referred to as a Unitary Patent (UP).

The countries which have ratified the UPCA are (marked with green in the map): Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Sweden.

All EU member states have not ratified the UPCA. For example Croatia, Poland and Spain have not ratified the UPCA. Non-EU member states cannot participate in the UPC system. For example Great Britain, Norway and Switzerland cannot participate in the UPC system.

Own strategy concerning the UPC

Unitary Patent (UP) will be automatically under the jurisdiction of the UPC. UPC’s jurisdiction comprises litigation of UPs and European Patents, precautionary measures, and injunctions in the territory of UPC member states.

Existing European patents will fall under the jurisdiction of the UPC if they are not specifically excluded (opt-out). During the transitional period (at least 7 years), national validations of a traditional European patent may be excluded from the jurisdiction of the UPC, in which case proceedings take place before national courts. It is also possible to withdraw the opt-out (opt-in). However, it is worth remembering that these procedures can be done only once.

National patents are not under the jurisdiction of the UPC. The effects of the UPC system must be taken into account in any case, because of your competitors’ European patents and UPs, for instance.

If your strategy for the UP and UPC is still under planning or you need more information/recommendation, your EP attorney at Laine IP and our UPC specialist team (upc@laineip.fi) will help you forward.

Original news can be found from here.

Share article