August 1, 2014

Study On Key Issues Of The UP And UPC

The unitary patent was the first piece of an EU-wide patent package and came into force in January this year, meaning that individuals and businesses now have the choice of protecting their inventions in 25 EU countries, thereby streamlining the system and saving on translation costs.  Meanwhile, the Unified Patent Court is the place where UPs can be challenged and defended in a single court action.

The independent study shows that, despite some concerns amongst potential end users of the system, businesses and lawyers expect that the UP and UPC will succeed if these concerns are addressed.

Key findings of the study include the belief that judicial composition and quality around common standards in all 25 member states will be crucial to the success of the UPC.

The study also found that the potential costs of the new system to patent-holders, particularly to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), are a concern for participants, particularly in terms of fees.

Moreover, the ability of users to ‘opt out’ of the UPC is a key issue.  Whilst most businesses are undecided on whether or not they will opt out their European patents from the Court’s jurisdiction, there is a strong feeling that the fee for doing so should be set at an administrative level only.

On the plus side, however, the use of English at the UPC is seen as a benefit for UK firms, as is the location of the London-based Central Division.  In addition, concerns over higher costs, greater complexity and more patent troll litigation are countered by the potential benefits of lower costs and one-stop enforcement.

For more information, please contact Thomas Bjorn.

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