The Unified Patent Court (UPC) has now opened its doors. This means that European patents (whether or not a Unitary Patent has been obtained) can now be enforced across up to 17 participating countries in a single action, while third parties can also challenge patent validity in the same way. Proponents of the Court believe this offers the opportunity for more robust and enforceable patent rights, while reducing the uncertainty that can arise from differing national practices. Others are concerned that the complex framework of an untested new system itself creates a risk of inconsistency.
Our combination of European Patent Attorneys well versed in EPO Oppositions and Appeals procedure and a team of litigators with deep experience at the national courts offers the ideal mix to guide you through this new, hybrid system, in which the judicial panels which will hear cases will themselves come from a similar range of backgrounds.
The UPC has a Mediation and Arbitration Centre, located in Lisbon and Ljubljana. Parties will be encouraged to use and therefore have the choice to use alternative dispute resolution (ADR). We have a barrister who is also qualified as a mediator and arbitrator, with over 20 years of experience in ADR, making us ideally suited to guiding clients in the use of the UPC Mediation and Arbitration Centre.
Under the current transitional arrangements, you will have the choice of whether or not to utilise the UPC or litigate through more traditional routes for some years to come. Our combination of skills and experience will be able to guide you through this complex landscape, always keeping a clear view of the commercial imperatives at work in any dispute.
We are proud and excited to be part of this new era and our clients will find that the same diligence, technical know-how and responsiveness they are used to will serve them as well in the future as it has in the past.