When the UPC opened its doors for business on June 1st, 2023, no one could really predict what this would mean for patent rights holders or the lawyers representing them.
Bird & Bird’s international patent team were present in the courts from the first week and have been compiling their learnings from day one. During the first of our regular UPC update webinars, we took an in-depth look at the first 100 days of the UPC and what developments we can expect to see in the near future.
Trevor Cook, chaired a riveting discussion, exploring the topics currently shaping the UPC landscape.
If you'd like to watch the recording, please click the button above. For more information on the UPC, click here.
Speakers: Domien Op de Beeck, Anne-Charlotte Le Bihan, Dr. Claus Becker, Boris Kreye, Giovanni Galimberti, Evelina Marchesoni, Wouter Pors, Trevor Cook, Chris de Mauny
The UPC is off to a strong start, with 52 proceedings commenced within the first 100 days of launch.
The majority of case have been started in one of the divisions in Germany with Munich taking the largest share.
The launch of the UPC has not been without its challenges. IT issues encountered with UPC’s Case Management System (CMS) coupled with inconsistencies between the requirements of the CMS and the legal requirements outlined in the Rules of Procedure, have been a source of some frustration for its users. With feedback, the system continues to improve.
The lack of case law is proving to be a challenge to navigate although experience derived from the national courts from which the judges are drawn is proving useful.
Such couleur locale is observable in some of the early decisions, such as the ex parte evidentiary seizure orders issued by Italian judges in the Milan local division which bear the hallmarks of decisions made under Italian national procedure.
Protective Letters play a crucial role in UPC proceedings; however, filing a protective letter does not guarantee a successful outcome. It is important to present convincing arguments on validity and infringement for a protective letter to have effect. To date, more than 240 protective letters have been filed.
When it comes to the competence of the UPC divisions, every minute counts in establishing which action was filed first. Decisive is when the action was filed by the claimant, not when it was entered in the register.
There are already clear signs of litigants coordinating actions between the UPC and UK courts, more of which is expected as litigants consider their European strategy.
Ireland will shortly hold a constitutional referendum to confirm its participation in the UPC. If participation in the UPC is confirmed, Ireland will be the only native English-speaking country within the framework and the only country with a common law tradition.