What is the Unified Patent Court (UPC)?

The Unified Patent Court is a court set up to adjudicate in particular on infringement and validity of both Unitary Patents and classic European patents in the participating member states of the European Union. The UPC aims to provide legal certainty and procedural efficiency across the territory. Given these aims, patentees will be ensured uniform, effective and efficient enforcement of their patents and so protect their investment in innovation. Likewise, defendants can be assured of a fair and uniform process across the territory. These factors enhance the attractiveness of Europe as a location for business and investment.

The UPC enters into force on June 1, 2023.

How does the UPC strengthen the competitiveness of European industry?

The UPC simplifies patent litigation across the participating member states of the European Union by establishing a single patent court for the whole of the territory. The complexity and associated cost of litigation in multiple states is thereby avoided. The UPC will enhance legal certainty by eliminating the risk of conflicting national decisions and by harmonizing the case law.  

The reduced complexity and cost of litigation will be particularly attractive for SMEs and start-ups, helping them to access the patent system to protect the fruits of their investments.

Moreover, the creation of a single patent enforcement landscape will enable the flow of technology across borders without the fear of differing enforcement regimes. This is will enhance the competiveness of European business.

The ability to expand markets and operations within the territory in the knowledge that the patent enforcement regime will now be the same is a real advantage of the UPC. This allows businesses to exploit better the rich variations in resources both natural and human across the territory.

In addition, the business friendly environment and certainty created by the UPC will also encourage international investment both in manufacturing and in research and development.

In summary, the UPC provides a uniform legal foundation for the enforcement of patent rights across the participating EU states. Within this simplified regime, business can innovate and prosper.