The Unified Patent Court (UPC)

A milestone in European legal development

After decades of preparation, the Unified Patent Court (UPC) marks a milestone in the development of European law from 1 June 2023. In a single court procedure with effect for all participating EU member states, decisions will be taken on the infringement and validity not only of unitary patents. The new court will automatically have jurisdiction over the validated national parts of European patents filed after February 2007 (unless an opt-out is declared for these parts).

It is precisely this circumstance that makes the new court relevant for practice from the very beginning. Already on the day of entry into force (expected 1 June 2023.) infringement and nullity actions are expected before the Unified Patent Court.

Jurisdiction and structure of the Unified Patent Court

UPC Gericht

In first instance, the UPC is organised in a decentral-ised manner. In addition to its so-called central divi-sion, which is divided between Paris and Munich according to technical fields, local and regional divisions of the court are located in several participating member states. In the larger participating member states, there are several local divisions; in alliances of several smaller EU states, joint regional divisions are established. In Germany, the UPC has four local divisions, namely in Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Mannheim and Munich. These correspond to the currently most important locations for patent infringement proceedings in Germany.

The Court of Appeal, the second instance of the UPC, is established in Luxembourg. Both instances can refer legal questions of EU law to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling.

Further information

The Unified Patent Court has relaunched its online presence. The new version of the website provides clear information on organisation, opt-out, legal texts, fees etc. and can be found here.

White Paper on the Unified Patent Court (UPC)

ES White Paper UPC

We have compiled detailed answers to all important questions on the new patent system in the White Paper on the Unified Patent Court (UPC).

In addition, the Eisenführ Speiser online seminar "Your path to the UP/UPC - Successful preparation for the new system" is available in our download area.

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