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  • The UPC is continuing its upward trajectory

    28 February 2024

    Almost nine months after launch, the Unified Patent Court has received around 250 actions, an average of nearly 28 actions per-month. Compared to January, the UPC has seen an uptake in infringement actions (with an additional 18 compared to last month) and an increasing number of counterclaims for revocation (an additional 40 compared to last […]

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  • The UPC has around 190 actions, almost eight months after launch

    19 January 2024

    Since launching on 1 June 2023, the Unified Patent Court has received around 190 actions. This includes 67 infringement actions, 25 revocation actions, 79 counterclaims for revocation and some applications for provisional measures, applications for preserving evidence and one declaration of non-infringement. The chart below shows each of these as a percentage of the total […]

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  • Germany completes the UPC jigsaw

    17 February 2023

    The start date for the Unified Patent Court (UPC)  is now confirmed as 1 June 2023. German ratification of the UPC Agreement occurred today on 17 February 2023. The UPC will allow companies and inventors to enforce their patents in 17 EU countries in a single court action. The court coming into operation will also complete […]

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  • UPC opening delayed until 1 June 2023

    5 December 2022

    The planned start date for the Unified Patent Court (“UPC”) has been pushed back by two months to the new date of 1 June 2023. The delay, announced today (5 December 2022), has been given after some users requested more time to get the authentication requirements in place for the new Case Management System (CMS).  The […]

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  • UPC reason ten: Simplicity

    2 February 2022

    The unitary patent (UP) system offers much greater simplicity for users. Instead of having to validate and renew a granted European patent on a country-by-country basis, innovators would be able to achieve the same protection with a single Unitary Patent maintained by a single renewal fee. That means fewer deadlines to remember and fewer reminder […]

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  • UPC reason nine: Impressive geographical coverage

    1 February 2022

    The first Unitary Patents (UP) are expected to be registered and in effect before the end of 2022 and will cover at least 17 countries. With a population of over 300 million people and a GDP valued over $13 trillion, a Unitary Patent would cover the majority of the European Economic Area. Future Unitary Patents […]

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  • UPC reason eight: Clear court processes and timeline

    31 January 2022

    The Unitary Patent Court (UPC) would have a common process and timeline for all of its divisions throughout Europe. This would increase the clarity of procedure before the UPC and reduce complexity and delay. It means that a UPC litigator can be assured that a case brought in Stockholm would be handled the same as […]

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  • UPC reason seven: English as the primary language

    28 January 2022

    English will be the primary language of the Unitary Patent (UP) system. All UPs will have an English version. For businesses in the UK, US and other English-speaking countries, there is a clear advantage to being able to litigate in one’s mother tongue. This will be possible at all Unified Patent Court hearings. Costly translations […]

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  • UPC reason six: “Bonus” countries

    27 January 2022

    Where previously a European patent may have only been validated in, say, five EU countries, the Unitary Patent will cover at least 17 of the 27 member states for a lower cost to that of the five previously. These “bonus” countries could provide unexpected benefits to companies. Infringements can arise anytime and anywhere, so the […]

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  • UPC reason five: Quick and efficient

    26 January 2022

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) would resolve cases much more quickly than is possible under the current system. If a case is brought, it would be processed, and a judgment passed down within a year. This means that businesses can bring their cases to court more quickly if needed. The Court also intends to hear […]

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  • UPC reason four: Great for SMEs

    25 January 2022

    SMEs can greatly benefit from the Unitary Patent (UP) and the UPC. Not only does the UP provide substantial savings on renewal fees across the entire (at least) 17 UP territories, but the UPC also offers several other benefits to SMEs. Firstly, the UPC offers a centralised approach for European IP disputes (substantially cheaper than […]

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  • UPC reason three: Well-run Unified Patent Court

    24 January 2022

    It is expected that the Unified Patent Court (UPC) would provide robust decisions as a result of the standardised practices between divisions and the diverse and well-trained pool of judges. This ensures that issues can be expertly tried, and decisions relied upon in territories previously unaccustomed to handling large volumes of patent litigation. This consistency […]

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  • UPC reason two: Pan-European enforcement

    21 January 2022

    Firstly, the use of a single court system avoids the scenario of different courts in different countries reaching conflicting opinions on the issue of infringement. Even more appealingly, as the Unitary Patent (UP) covers a large number of European territories, it would be possible to use the court to seek relief for infringing activities happening […]

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  • UPC reason one: Cost-effective system

    20 January 2022

    The Unitary Patent system would be cost effective for everyone. It becomes cheaper per country when compared to the traditional bundle of European patents as you seek to protect your invention in an increasing number of countries. Specifically, the annual cost of renewing a Unitary Patent would be equivalent to the cost of renewing individual […]

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  • The Provisional Application Period of the UPC has begun

    19 January 2022

    On 18th January, Austria deposited its instrument of ratification of the Protocol on the Provisional Application of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA). Since Austria was the 13th country to do so, this protocol has now entered into force, such that many of the articles of the UPCA have now entered into “provisional application”.  This […]

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  • Slovenia ratifies the UPCA

    19 October 2021

    On 15 October, Slovenia deposited its ratification the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA), bringing the total number of ratifications to sixteen. As it stands, applicants will be able to protect their inventions in at least 17 countries (the existing 16 plus Germany) with a single Unitary Patent (UP) when the system is implemented. […]

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  • UPC Preparatory Committee Announce Timetable

    19 August 2021

    With the recent announcement that German President has approved the UPC (Unified Patent Court) agreement, the UPC preparatory committee has announced estimated timings for the start of UPC operations. The committee has indicated that it currently expects the UPC to commence operations around mid-2022. Before the UPC becomes fully operational it will first enter a […]

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  • Germany approves ratification of UPC Agreement

    13 August 2021

    German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has now approved the UPC (Unified Patent Court) agreement. This constitutes the final step for the UPC agreement to be brought into German law. The UPC will allow companies and inventors to protect their inventions in at least 16 EU countries in a single court action should the system be implemented. The […]

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  • Bundesrat approval

    18 December 2020

    The German Upper Chamber (the Bundesrat) has now approved the UPC (Unified Patent Court) agreement. The final step for the UPC to be brought into German law is the signature by German’s president Frank-Walter Steinmeier which we expect shortly (baring any further constitutional objections). As we reported in November, German Parliament’s Lower Chamber (the Bundestag) […]

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  • German Parliament votes for UPC

    27 November 2020

    A two-thirds majority has now been established in the Bundestag for the UPC (Unified Patent Court) Agreement. As we reported in March the German Constitutional Court ruled that UPC (Unified Patent Court) ratification at that time would be unconstitutional in Germany due to the failure of the Bundestag to secure a two-thirds majority of all […]

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  • Partial Red Light For UPC from German Court

    20 March 2020

    The German Constitutional Court today partially upheld the complaint by Ingve Stjerna that the UPC (Unified Patent Court) is unconstitutional in Germany. The Court ruled that the failure of the Bundestag to secure a two-thirds majority of all Members for the UPC legislation, a matter concerning constitutional change, was unlawful. This will undoubtedly further delay […]

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  • Business as usual for IP in Europe

    16 January 2019

    Brexit On 23 June 2016, the British people voted in a referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union. Just under 52% of voters voted to leave the EU, against just over 48% who voted that the UK should remain part of the EU. As a result, the UK began […]

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  • UK signals intent to stay in Unified Patent Court after Brexit

    16 July 2018

    The UK Government published its white paper regarding “The future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union” (found here). This provides the strongest indication yet that the UK Government will act to stay a part of the Unitary Patent Package (UPP) after Brexit. The UK Government had already stated that it is planning […]

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  • UK ratifies the UPCA

    27 April 2018

    Sam Gyimah MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, announced yesterday (26 April 2018) that the UK has ratified the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA). The announcement came during Mr Gyimah’s speech at the IPAN World IP Day event held in the House of Commons. Mr Gyimah said “Ratification of […]

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  • Latvia ratifies the UPCA

    18 January 2018

    On 11 January, Latvia ratified the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA), bringing the total number of ratifications to fifteen. As it stands, applicants will be able to protect their inventions in at least 17 countries (the existing 14 plus UK and Germany) with a single Unitary Patent (UP) when the system is implemented. […]

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  • Lithuania ratifies the UPCA

    25 August 2017

    On Thursday 24 August, Lithuania ratified the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA), bringing the total number of ratifications to fourteen. As it stands, applicants will be able to protect their inventions in at least 16 countries (the existing 14 plus UK and Germany) with a single Unitary Patent (UP) when the system is […]

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  • Estonia ratifies the UPCA

    4 August 2017

    Estonia has ratified the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA). Estonia’s ratification means that the geographical protection provided by the Unitary Patent (UP) upon implementation will cover to at least 15 countries. The complete list of countries to have ratified the UPCA can be found here but must also include the UK and Germany […]

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  • UK’s preparations for the Unified Patent Court are back on track

    26 June 2017

    The UK has set in motion the legislative process to remove the final legal impediment to ratification of the UPCA. The UKIPO has confirmed today that the Unified Patent Court (UPC) related Statutory Instrument (the “Order on Privileges and Immunities”) has been laid before Parliament, alongside equivalent legislation for Scotland being scheduled for discussion in […]

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  • Italy ratifies the UPCA

    13 February 2017

    On Friday 10 February 2017, Italy became the latest country to ratify the UPCA, bringing the total number of ratifications to twelve. As ten other non-mandatory countries, plus France, have already ratified the Agreement (listed here), the ratification of Italy was not required to initiate the UPC. However, with Italy being the fourth largest economy […]

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  • Unitary Patent Package expected to enter into force in December 2017

    16 January 2017

    An official statement from the Unified Patent Court (UPC) website, published today (found here), has outlined a rough timetable for the UPC becoming operational. If all continues as expected, the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court (UPCA) and the Court itself should be up and running in December 2017. This would mean that the ‘Unitary […]

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  • The UK will ratify the UPCA!

    28 November 2016

    At the EU competitiveness council meeting today the UK Minister of State for Energy and Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, indicated that the UK will ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement (see official press release here). UPC specialist and W&R Partner Russell Barton said: “We, at Withers & Rogers, are delighted the UK government has chosen […]

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  • CIPA – Securing the UK’s continued participation in the Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent following Brexit

    20 September 2016

    The legal position, that it is possible for the UK to remain in the UPC and UP has already been widely supported as reported here. This view already included support from CIPA (the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys) and now has further heavyweight backing from a newly published Counsel’s opinion. CIPA, the IP Federation and […]

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  • The Netherlands ratifies the UPCA

    20 September 2016

    The Netherlands recently became the eleventh country to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement. This marks a key point in the implementation of the UPC, as now only the mandatory ratification by Germany and the UK is necessary to bring the UPC Agreement into force. Prior to the recent EU Referendum, the UK was expected […]

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  • Bulgaria becomes the tenth country to ratify the UPC Agreement

    9 June 2016

    On 3 June 2016, Bulgaria became the tenth country to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement by depositing its instrument of ratification. This now leaves the UK, Germany and one other country to ratify before the Agreement takes effect. Please see our updated UP and UPC pages for the latest information.   James Mitchell Electronics, […]

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  • Recruitment begins for UPC judges

    16 May 2016

    The recruitment process for selecting the first group of UPC judges is now open. Candidates may apply to become a full-time or part-time judge until the closing date of 4 July 2016. Information on the selection process can be found here. The opening of the selection process marks a major step in the implementation of […]

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  • The Unitary Patent – how far away is it now?

    13 January 2016

    Unitary Patent (UP) The UP draws ever closer, and recent events suggest early 2017 is the hot favourite for commencement. If you haven’t considered the ramifications of the UP for your business yet, now is the time to start. The Select Committee, who set the rules and fees for the UP, recently announced that their […]

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  • Another step forward for the Unified Patent Court

    9 October 2015

    On Thursday 1 October 2015, seven EU Member States, including the UK, France and Germany, signed the Protocol to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPC) on provisional application. This Protocol allows for the implementing of IT systems and recruitment of judges as well as other key provisions which must be completed before the […]

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  • Italy joins Unitary Patent

    7 October 2015

    The European Commission confirmed on 30 September 2015 that Italy has become the 26th state to join the enhanced cooperation of the Unitary Patent protection. Given Italy’s previous reluctance to join, including pursuing a legal challenge against the Unitary Patent, this is a major success for the future of the Unitary Patent and the Unified […]

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  • Portugal becomes eighth country to ratify UPC Agreement

    2 September 2015

    After completing the required formalities on 28 August 2015, Portugal became the latest country to ratify the UPC agreement, bringing the total number to eight. In order for the Unified Patent Court and the Unitary Patent to come into effect, 13 EU countries must ratify the Agreement, including the three largest member states in terms […]

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  • The select committee adopts the “true top 4” fee proposal for the Unitary Patent

    25 June 2015

    On Wednesday, the EPO announced that the Select Committee of the Administrative Council had adopted the “True Top 4” proposal tabled by the European Patent Office on renewal fees applicable to the unitary patent. The “True Top 4” proposal, as we explained here, fixes the unitary patent renewal fees at levels equal to the sum […]

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  • The EPO’s Unitary Patent adjusted fee proposal

    29 May 2015

    On 7 May 2015, the President of the European Patent Office, Benoît Battistelli, submitted an adjusted proposal for the renewal fees of the Unitary Patent for review by the Select Committee of the Administrative Council. The document, found here, begins with a brief discussion of the previous proposal. The first option in the previous proposal […]

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  • UPC fees and recoverable costs

    8 May 2015

    Public consultation opened today regarding the court fees and recoverable costs at the Unitary Patent Court. The consultation period shall last 12 weeks, closing at midnight on 31 July. Responses should be sent to, preferably in English. We’ve picked out some key points from the document below, however, should you wish to review the consultation […]

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  • Spanish Unitary Patent objections dismissed by CJEU

    7 May 2015

    Arguably the last major hurdle to the introduction of the Unitary Patent was overcome Tuesday as the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) dismissed the two challenges presented by Spain regarding a lack of compliance with EU law. Back in December 2012, Spain challenged the two Regulations which aim to govern the unitary […]

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  • Austria sets ball rolling for Unitary Patent implementation

    7 January 2015

    Austria became the first country to take the steps necessary to bring the European Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC) into force, by ratifying the legislation on 7 August 2013. This milestone in the Unitary Patent project is welcomed, and paves the way for other countries to start the ratification process. In order for […]

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  • A step closer to the unified patent court as prototype eFiling software is released

    7 January 2015

    Last month saw the prototype of the eFiling and Case Management System for the new Unified Patent Court (UPC) go live for testing. This represents an important step closer to the implementation of the UPC. The development team, coordinated by a UK-based taskforce, have chosen an off-the-shelf product on which to base the system. The […]

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  • Bot sticks the boot in to Spanish objections over Unitary Patent

    27 November 2014

    The Advocate General (AG) of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), Yves Bot, has issued a stern rebuke to Spain’s legal challenges to the European Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court, and calls for their dismissal by the Court, thus providing a good indication that the final obstacles in the way of […]

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