Forty years after the first discussions began with a view to creating a single European patent, 25 EU Member States (with the exception of Italy, Spain and Croatia) approved three instruments creating a European Patent with unitary effect. One of the instruments is the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court, signed on 19 February 2013. The Agreement provides for a ‘Unified Patent Court’ (UPC) as a single court consisting of a Court of First Instance and a Court of Appeal. The court will have exclusive jurisdiction both in infringement and revocation proceedings. By this means it is intended that it will provide a less complex and less expensive alternative to the current situation where patent cases have to be tried in each EU Member State separately.
This commentary is focussed on the procedure of the Unitary Patent Court, and covers: