With Germany’s Ratification, the EU Unified Patent Court Begins June 1, 2023
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With Germany’s Ratification, the EU Unified Patent Court Begins June 1, 2023

Brownstein Client Alert, Feb. 23, 2023

After years of setbacks, the EU Unified Patent Court (UPC) will begin its work on June 1, 2023. Germany’s ratification of the UPC Agreement on Feb. 17, 2023, triggered a countdown under Article 89 of the UPC Agreement for the UPC to enter into force. According to the UPC, the launch of the unified court “will mark a new era for European innovation.”

The UPC will have jurisdiction over all Unitary Patents and over European patents validated in the participating states. As of this writing, the 17 participating states include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and Slovenia. Currently, European patent grants can only be opposed at the European Patent Office (EPO) within nine months of grant or through administrative or judicial proceedings initiated in each country. By contrast, UPC decisions regarding infringement and validity will have uniform effect over all participating states.

While the impact of the UPC remains to be seen, the UPC promises prompt and uniform decisions with the stated goal of decreasing costs of litigation in Europe for both patent owners and defendants. Between March and May 2023, patent applications can be “opted out” of the jurisdiction of the UPC. Practitioners may also opt to delay grant of pending applications until grants of Unitary Patents start in June.

This document is intended to provide you with general information regarding the EU Unified Patent Court. The contents of this document are not intended to provide specific legal advice. If you have any questions about the contents of this document or if you need legal advice as to an issue, please contact the attorneys listed or your regular Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP attorney. This communication may be considered advertising in some jurisdictions. The information in this article is accurate as of the publication date. Because the law in this area is changing rapidly, and insights are not automatically updated, continued accuracy cannot be guaranteed. 

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