Introduction to UP & UPC
The Unitary Patent (UP) and Unified Patent Court (UPC) aim at achieving a long-desired simplification and harmonization of post-grant patent proceedings in the EU area. Among others, they have reformed the post-grant national validation step of European patents, and have provided a dedicated patent court to address infringement and validity disputes commonly for multiple EU member states.
Initially, the UP/UPC system operates concurrently with national validation and court systems concerning post-grant activities pertaining to European patents. After a transitional period, which extends at least until 2030, the UP/UPC system is anticipated to acquire exclusive jurisdiction over European patents within the participating countries.
Presently, 17 out of the 27 member states of the EU have joined the new UP/UPC system. For the remaining EU member states, as well as the 12 non-EU member states of the EPO, the old validation system and national court systems are still the only applicable systems. The UP/UPC system is relatively new, in force since mid-2023.
- 17 Participating UP/UPC member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, and Sweden.
- 10 Non-participating EU member states: Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain.
- 12 EPO contracting states outside the EU: Albania, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Montenegro, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, and the UK.
Utilization of the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court in the participating countries is open to all holders of European patents and patent applications regardless of their nationality or place of business.
The UP/UPC system introduces several new considerations when approaching grant of a European patent, for example deciding between UP and traditional validation, and whether or not to opt-out the patent from the jurisdiction of the UPC. Do not hesitate to contact us for input and inspiration before making your decisions.
Do not hesitate to contact us for input and inspiration before making your decisions.