The Unified Patent Court provides a single patent court for determining matters of infringement and validity for European patents, European national phase patents and Supplementary Protection Certificates for the UPC participating states.
The initial set of UPC participating states are:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia and Sweden (17 UPC states).
There are more states which are in “enhanced cooperation” and which may join the Unified Patent Court in the coming months and years.
The Unified Patent Court provides a layer of consolidation and harmonisation for the previously fragmented system for determining matters of infringement and validity for European patents.
For European patents having Unitary Effect (also called Unitary Patents) the Unified Patent Court has sole jurisdiction for determining infringement and validity. The countries covered by the Unitary Patent, are the same as those listed above which are participating in the Unified Patent Court.
For existing European national phase patents (also known as the “classic” European patent), where after grant, the European patent is continued as a bundle of individual national patents, that system continues in parallel with the Unified Patent Court.
For detailed information about the Unified Patent Court, please download the white paper, written by Dr Robert Franks, which can be found below.