The Impending Launch of the Unified Patent Court

March 23, 2017

Covered in this OnPoint:

1. Unified Patent Court taking its final steps before launch

2. Preparatory Committee final meeting of 15 March 2017

3. Provisional agenda (subject to contingencies):
        - May 2017: Provisional Application Phase
        - September 2017: “Sunrise” period
        - December 2017: Target date for actual launch of UPC

4. State of ratifications:
       - UK and Germany only remaining mandatory ratifiers
       - Spain not definitively out

5. Hot topics about the new Rules of Procedure:
       - injunctions
       - damages
       - confidentiality
 
In a fundamental change to how European patents are to be litigated in Europe, the United Patent Court (UPC) will soon have exclusive jurisdiction over European patent disputes and will be able to issue remedies that are binding across almost the entire EU. In contrast, the current system provides for a central examination process at the European Patent Office (EPO) but still requires enforcement or litigation in each individual contracting Member State.

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