The Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court

Overview

The European Patent Office (EPO) and the participating countries are in the final stages of establishing the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court (UPC). This represents the biggest change to patent law in Europe for 40 years: it will create a single approach to patent registration and litigation across 25 European Member States with a combined population of over 400 million. All businesses need to make sure they are prepared for the changes that this will entail.

The introduction of a single system will make establishing patent protection across Europe easier and more effective, facilitating the protection of innovations and inventions. It will also make it possible to challenge patents and to obtain rulings preventing the distribution of goods and the use of patented processes across all the participating Member States. Any company operating in Europe for whom the protection and exploitation of intellectual property is an important concern should take the time to inform themselves about the new Unitary Patent system and develop a tailored patent strategy for Europe.

In addition to the existing knowledge and skills that we have developed as Europe's leading Patent Litigation firm, we have created a specialist UPC team to help our clients to navigate the new landscape effectively and to enable them to continue to protect their intellectual property in this new environment.

We believe our position as the only law firm with highly regarded patent experts on the ground in every major jurisdiction where there will be a division of the UPC puts us in a unique position to help you understand how the changes will impact on your existing patent portfolios and review your procedures to ensure you maximise its commercial value. Perhaps even more importantly, we are at home in all UPC divisions and familiar with the "couleur locale" that will make the difference within this court. We can do patent litigation in any language that the UPC will use.

Our unrivalled position as Europe's leading experts in patent law - we have been named Managing IP's European "Firm of the Decade" and for the past 5 years IAM Patent 1000 has identified Bird & Bird as the highest ranked firm internationally, with more patent experts than any other firm – also means we are ideally positioned to advise you in this area.

For any further information, please get in touch with your usual Bird & Bird contact or any member of our UPC team, or follow us @twobirdsIP for breaking news and commentary.

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Latest developments and documents

12 September 2016

15 December 2015

19 October 2015

5 October 2015

1 October 2015

10 September 2015

  • First UPC IT workshop held in London

9 September 2015

7 July 2015

11 May 2015

 7 May 2015

  • EPO Select Committee publishes adjusted proposal for renewal fees for European patents with unitary effect

5 May 2015

CJEU rejects the appeals filed by Spain against the Unitary Patent Package.

  • Read our comments on the decision here
  • Read the CJEU press release here

27 February 2015

8th Meeting of the Preparatory Committee Latvian Permanent Representation to the European Union >

26 November 2014

Oral hearing on the 17th Draft of the Rules of Procedure takes place in Trier. Listen to the full recording here >

18 November 2014

Advocate General Yves Bot dismisses Spain's challenges to the UPC and urges other countries to ratify the UPC Agreement. Read the opinion >

6 November 2014

7th meeting of the Preparatory Committee takes place in Brussels >

3 November 2014

The UPC Preparatory Committee publishes the 17th draft of the UPC Rules of Procedure and announces that the Oral Hearing will take place in Trier on 26th  November. Read the 17th draft of the Rules of Procedure >

7 October 2014

Preparatory Committee has announced that the prototype e-filing/case management system is now available to test. People wishing to test it can visit this link >

16 September 2014

Preparatory Committee publishes updated.Roadmap of the UPC Preparatory Committee September 2014 >New Expert Panel announced to advise the Preparatory Committee of the UPC >

13 June 2014

Draft Rules on the  European Patent Litigation Certificate >- proposal by the Legal Working Group of the Preparatory Committee. Explanatory memorandum >Bird & Bird comments on the draft Rules on the European Patent Litigation Certificate > 

06 March 2014

Preparatory Committee announcement >

31 January 2014

16th draft of the rules of procedure (PDF) >Digest (PDF) >

09 January 2013

EU: Unitary Patent Regulation and Unified Patent Court Agreement; An update >
UPC: Key features and FAQs - Download our quick guide. Download our quick guide here