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The UPC and unitary patent: momentum gathers

Paul England
Paul England
28 April 2014 - 0 comments

On February 19 2013 the representatives of 24 EU governments met in Brussels to sign the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement, which creates a court in which future unitary patents and classic European patents can be litigated – effectively, a one-stop shop for participating EU member states. This historic date marks the start of implementation for a project that has kept European lawmakers busy for nearly 40 years. Here we examine the practical achievements of the last 14 months and highlight the challenges yet to be met before the court can open its doors. 

The patent reform package

The UPC is part of a bigger package of patent reforms which consists of three linked elements:

Under the current system, the European Patent Convention provides for a centralised application procedure in which the European Patent Office grants bundles of national patents across Europe. Disputes about patents after grant (with the exception of patents opposed at the office within the first nine months) are adjudicated exclusively by national courts.

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