Unified Patent Court—procedure
Produced in partnership with Alan Johnson of Bristows LLP
Unified Patent Court—procedure

The following IP guidance note Produced in partnership with Alan Johnson of Bristows LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Unified Patent Court—procedure
  • Introduction to the unitary patent and Unified Patent Court system
  • Transitional arrangements—opting out and concurrent jurisdiction
  • UPC procedure

STOP PRESS: the UK Government has verbally confirmed that it will not be seeking involvement in the unitary patent/UPC system. This Practice Note is being updated. For more information, see: LNB News 28/02/2020 57.

Introduction to the unitary patent and Unified Patent Court system

The new system is in two parts:

  1. a newly available European patent with unitary effect, better known as the unitary patent (UP)

  2. a new court, the Unified Patent Court (UPC), in which to litigate UPs and both future and existing so-called ‘classical’ European patents (EPs) and their supplementary protection certificates (SPCs)

For more information on the historical background and development of the UP and UPC system, see Practice Note: Unitary patents and the Unified Patent Court—historical background and development.

Unitary patents

A UP is best described as a new type of European bundle patent. UPs are different from the existing, classical bundle patents (ie EPs) because they will provide patent protection in all participating EU Member States without the need to validate and maintain them individually in each country where they take effect. They will be granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) based on the same application as classical bundle patents, and will be subject to the same EPO post-grant processes, in particular, opposition and limitation proceedings. Instead of being enforced in national courts, however,