The UPC System
The biggest change in decades in the grant and enforcement of patents in Europe is on its way with the planned introduction of a new European patent system. This new system will create opportunities, as well as risks, so it is vital to fully understand the changes and implications for your Intellectual Property strategy.
The new system will revolve around two new features: the Unitary Patent (UP) and the Unified Patent Court (UPC). The UP will be a single patent right covering most of the EU as an alternative to conventional European Patents (EPs). The UPC will act as a single litigation forum for disputes involving not only UPs but also EPs.
Although the original target date of May 2017 has slipped considerably for a number of reasons outlined in various Dehns updates (see left hand column), preparations to bring the new system into force are continuing and it is likely that the UP and UPC will still go ahead in the near future despite “Brexit”. Now that the UK has ratified the UPC Agreement, it seems highly likely that the UK will participate in the system even after leaving the EU.
Regardless of whether the UK ultimately takes part in the new system, Dehns will remain fully involved and will continue to be able to represent its clients in all UP and UPC-related matters. Dehns is already advising its clients on how to adapt their IP strategies and take full commercial advantage of the opportunities provided by the UP system, while also taking into account the risks and potential pitfalls.
As one of the leaders in IP litigation, with an experienced team of fully qualified patent attorneys and litigation experts, Dehns will continue to provide high quality, clear and commercially focused litigation advice on a pan-European basis now, and also once the UPC is open for business.