Edge of Open Book Pages

Alternative dispute resolution and the Unified Patent Court 

25th August 2023

Key points 

  • The Unified Patent Court requires all litigation to be dealt with in a proportionate manner, including consideration of methods of alternative dispute resolution where appropriate.  
  • Parties may, at any time in the course of proceedings in the Unified Patent Court, conclude their case by way of settlement.  

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EPO decisions that can be challenged in the UPC

15th August 2023

As part of the package of measures introduced to bring the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent (UP) into effect, the European Patent Office (EPO) has been entrusted with a number of administrative tasks relating to Unitary Patents, including administering requests for UPs and ensuring that such requests are submitted in the correct language and within the correct time period.

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Preliminary Injunctions and Seizure Orders at the Unified Patents Court

26th July 2023

Key points

  • The Unified Patents Court (UPC) may grant a range of provisional remedies, including preliminary injunctions and orders for the seizure or delivery up of products.
  • The UPC may grant either remedy after hearing both the parties or without hearing the defendant (ex parte) in specified circumstances.

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Provisional Measures at the Unified Patent Court

21st July 2023

Provisional, or protective, measures are court orders which may be granted for the benefit of a patentee against an alleged infringer prior to the commencement of an infringement action. Provisional measures may be used, for example, to preserve evidence or protect a patentee from harm prior to proceedings.

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Protective Letters at the UPC – protecting against surprise injunctions

14 July 2023

A patentee may apply to the UPC for provisional measures against an alleged infringer before an infringement action has been brought or decided. The patentee may request an injunction, the seizure of allegedly infringing goods, and the freezing of the defendant’s bank accounts and assets. The patentee may request that the Court grants these measures without first hearing the defendant.

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Languages at the Unified Patent Court

7 July 2023

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is an international court for handling disputes relating to European patents. At the time of writing, the UPC has locations in 15 different EU member states and serves 17 EU member states, which, between them, have 18 different official languages. Furthermore, European patents can be granted in either English, German or French.

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UP & UPC: Legal and Documentary Considerations

16 June 2023

The UPC and Unitary Patent (UP) have now come into effect.

There are a number of important decisions that need to be made by patent holders in relation to their portfolios including, but not limited to (i) opt ins and outs (ii) ownership and registration (iii) applicable law to existing and future patent applications.

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Litigation at the Unified Patent Court – Getting the Right Representatives

9 June 2023

Now that the Unified Patent Court (UPC) has opened its doors, prospective users of the Court (both patent proprietors and potential defendants) will be considering who should represent them in proceedings at the UPC.

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Actions for Infringement of a Patent at the Unified Patent Court: An Overview

2 June 2023

This update is intended to provide an overview of actions for infringement of a patent at the Unified Patent Court.

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English now a language of proceedings in all Local Regional Divisions except Milan

1 June 2023

On 1 June 2023, the day that the Unified Patent Court has come into effect, the Court also announced that English will now be a language of proceedings at the Local Divisions in France (Paris) and Germany (Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Mannheim, Munich). Parties are therefore now able to bring actions at these Local Divisions in English and to plead in English at trial.

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Actions for Revocation of a Patent at the Unified Patent Court: An Overview

26 May

This update is intended to provide you with an overview of action for revocation at the Unified Patent Court.

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English is a UPC language of proceedings except in France, Germany and Italy

22 May 2023

The UPC has confirmed the languages for the 1st instance Local and Regional Divisions. As expected, the Regional Division covering Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia has adopted English as its language of proceedings.

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Unified Patent Court - Composition, Judges and Languages

19 May 2023

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) will be made up of a Court of First Instance, Court of Appeal and the European Court of Justice, which is to be used for questions EU law only. As shown on the diagram below, the first instance court is made up of the central division, which will be based in Paris and Munich (and Milan in the future too), and various local and regional divisions.

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UPC Case Management System and Opt Out APIs Unavailable from 31 May (9AM CET) - 1 June (9AM CET)

17 May 2023

Earlier today, the UPC issued a notice (see here) indicating that the UPC Case Management System (CMS) and opt out APIs will be unavailable from 9AM CET on 31 May until 9AM CET on 1 June. The notice suggests that no batch opt-out requests should be filed after 16:00 CET on 30 May. The period for filing opt out requests has therefore been effectively shortened by at least 15 hours, longer if the suggested deadline batch opt out requests is followed.

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UPC Confirms Reallocation of Central Division Actions to Paris and Munich

16 May 2023

In a long-awaited decision, the UPC has today (16 May 2023) announced that actions in the Central Division relating to patents in International Patent Classification (IPC) section A (Human Necessities) will be assigned to the Central Division in Paris, while actions in the Central Division relating to patents in IPC section C (Chemistry) will be handled by the Central Division in Munich.

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Key Features of Litigation at the UPC

11 May 2023

This update is intended to provide you with an overview of the litigation process, as envisaged, at the Unified Patent Court when it goes “live” on 1 June 2023.

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The UPC Sunrise Period: How it’s Going So Far

31 March 2023

Today (31 March 2023) is the last day of the first month of the UPC sunrise period, so now is a good time to take stock of how things have been going at the UPC.

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The Sunrise Period Begins Today

1 March 2023

The UPC Sunrise Period begins today, 1 March 2023, following Germany’s deposit of its instrument of ratification of the UPC Agreement on 17 February 2023.

The Sunrise Period will last for three months.

During this period, European patent holders and applicants can opt their European patents and European patent applications out of the exclusive jurisdiction of the UPC before the Court opens for business on 1 June 2023.

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Wake up to the Sun! Germany Deposits Instrument of Ratification of the UPC Agreement

17 February 2023

Germany has today deposited its instrument of ratification of the UPC Agreement, triggering the start of the Sunrise Period for the Unified Patent Court (UPC).

The Sunrise Period will begin on 1 March 2023 and will last for three months.

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EPO Confirms Transitional Measures for Unitary Patent will be Available from 1 January 2023

7 December 2022

Following the announcement earlier this week that the expected start date of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) has been pushed back to 1 June 2023, the European Patent Office (EPO) has confirmed that its transitional measures in relation to the Unitary Patent (UP) will be available from 1 January 2023 as originally planned.

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Start of the Sunrise Period has been Postponed by Two Months

5 December 2022

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) has just announced that the start of the sunrise period has been postponed for two months. The sunrise period is now expected to start on 1 March 2023, and the Unitary Patent and UPC are expected to come into effect on 1 June 2023.

This delay gives European patent applicants and proprietors some extra time to prepare for the new system.

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UPC Takes Another Step Forward with the Appointment of Judges

20 October 2022

Preparations for the launch of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) have taken another step forward, with the announcement of the appointment of judges and the composition of its Presidium. A total of 87 judges have been appointed. They will take up their new role when the UPC Agreement comes into effect.

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Unified Patent Court Update: 1 April 2023 Start Date Announced

10 October 2022

A road map for the final stages of the preparations for the launch of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) has just been published.

The key date is 1 April 2023, when the UPC Agreement will enter into force and the Court will open for business.  Unitary Patents (UPs) will also be available from this date.

It is expected that Germany will deposit its instrument of ratification in December 2022, and the sunrise period for opting European patents and patent applications out of the jurisdiction of the UPC in advance will begin on 1 January 2023.

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UPC Opt Outs: Portfolio Strategy

30 August 2022

We considered the factors which may help you decide whether to opt out an individual patent in our earlier article. However, there is also a wider question of opt out strategy across your EP portfolio.  

There are three basic strategies available: 

  1. Opt out all of your EP cases; 
  2. Do NOT opt out any EP cases; or 
  3. A hybrid approach, opting out selected cases.  

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UPC Opt Outs: Yes or No?

23 August 2022

In anticipation of the Unitary Patent (UP) and the Unified Patent Court (UPC), European patent owners should be considering whether or not to opt out their existing and future European patents and applications from the jurisdiction of the UPC. 

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UPC Glossary

23 August 2022

With the launch of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and the Unitary Patent (UP) fast approaching, there is a large amount of new terminology to get to grips with, which can be initially confusing. In this blog, we take a look at some of the common terms and phrases relating to the UPC and UP system and break down what they mean. Terms in italics are also defined in this Glossary. 

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The Unified Patent Court Moves One Step Closer

17 July 2022

The UPC has moved one step closer following a meeting of the Administrative Council on 8 July.

The UPC’s Rules of Procedure and Table of Fees were adopted at the meeting and will come into effect on 1 September 2022. The final Rules of Procedure will be published in the coming weeks, before they come into effect.

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Edge of Open Book Pages

UK-based European Patent Attorneys able to Represent Parties at the UPC

24 March 2022

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) Administrative Committee has confirmed that many UK-based European patent attorneys will be able to represent parties at the UPC. With a team boasting experienced patent attorneys and litigators, HLK will therefore be ideally placed to represent parties in UPC litigation.

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The Period of Provisional Application of the UPC Agreement has Started

The Period of Provisional Application of the UPC Agreement has Started

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The European Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court – Overview and Decision Points

13 January 2022

After years of delay caused by legal challenges in Germany to ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (also known as the “UPC Agreement” or “UPCA”), the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and the European Unitary Patent (UP) is set to come into effect in April 2023.

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If you have any questions on the UP or the UPC, please contact upc@hlk-ip.com.