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UPC-Updates | 31. July 2023

Dr Dorothea Hofer has obtained the European Patent Litigation Certificate

We are delighted to announce that our managing partner Dr. Dorothea Hofer has obtained the European Patent Litigation Certificate issued by the University of Maastricht in cooperation with the Academy of European Law (ERA) in Trier. This includes an extensive practical and theoretical training in the law underlying the Unified Patent Court (#UPC) and related fields of European law so that she is well prepared for representing clients in all proceedings before the Unified Patent Court.

Weitere UPC-Updates

Comparison of opposition proceedings at the EPO andrevocation actions at the UPC – advantages and disadvantages

Since the introduction of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) in June 2023, a new system for central attacking the validity of and thereby to nullify a European Patent has been introduced. If a European patent of concern is an EU Unitary Patent, or if a classically validated European patent was not opted out from the competence of the UPC, a central revocation action under the UPC now exists in parallel to an opposition before the European Patent Office (EPO). Therefore, the question arises: what are the pros and cons of challenging the validity either before the EPO or before the UPC? The present report provides some guidance and discusses the main advantages and disadvantages of each system – which eventually is a matter of strategic considerations whether and which advantage may prevail – be it costs, timing, speed of proceedings, and possibly other issues.
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Dr Dorothea Hofer has obtained the European Patent Litigation Certificate

We are delighted to announce that our managing partner Dr. Dorothea Hofer has obtained the European Patent Litigation Certificate issued by the University of Maastricht in cooperation with the Academy of European Law (ERA) in Trier. This includes an extensive practical and theoretical training in the law underlying the Unified Patent Court (#UPC) and related fields of European law so that she is well prepared for representing clients in all proceedings before the Unified Patent Court.
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Chances and Risks of the New European Unitary Patentand New Unified Patent Court – Part 3

Opposition proceedings before the European Patent Office (EPO) are an attractive forum for challenging patents; the procedure is virtually unrivaled worldwide in terms of value for money. The process is simple, streamlined and relatively inexpensive. The practice is well tested. However, there are restrictions and drawbacks – for example, a deadline of nine months after the grant date for submission, the long duration of the opposition and appeal proceedings, and strict rules for admitting evidence submitted late.
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Chances and Risks of the New European Unitary Patentand New Unified Patent Court – Part 2

During a seven-years transition phase, the jurisdiction of the future Unified Patent Court (UPC) can be declared inapplicable, by way of an opt-out request by the IP right holder, to a pending European patent application (“EP application”), to a granted European patent (“EP”), or to a supplementary protection certificate (“SPC”). This possibility was introduced to build confidence by users on the long run. If opted-out, disputes will then continue to be handled by national courts on a country-by-country basis. Once a European patent has been opted out, it is excluded from the jurisdiction of the UPC for its entire life.
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Chances and Risks of the New European Unitary Patentand New Unified Patent Court – Part 1

June 1, 2023 marks the beginning of a new era in European patent law: the new European Unitary Patent system entered into force, consisting of the Unitary Patent (UP) and the Unified Patent Court (UPC). 50 years after the introduction of the European Patent Convention and millions of European patents filed, this may be the most prominent change in European patent practice. The Unitary Patent adds as a third pillar to the classical European patents and the national patents. The Unified Patent Court will have an influence on both the unitary patent and the classical European patents as a modern and efficient litigation system.
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The Unified Patent Court will start on June 1, 2023

Years of planning finally become reality: The official starting signal has now been given! Germany ratified the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPC) on February 17, 2023.
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Start of the Sunrise Period for Filing Opt-out Requests with the Unified Patent Court on March 1, 2023

According to the current schedule, the Unified Patent Court will start its work on June 1, 2023. The so-called sunrise period, during which opt-out requests can be filed with the Unified Patent Court for granted European patents or published European patent applications will start on March 1, 2023, according to the current planning of the Unified Patent Court.
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Adjustment of the timeline –The start of the Sunrise Period is postponed for two months till 1 March 2023.

The start of the Sunrise Period is postponed for two months. The initial roadmap foresaw 1 January 2023 as the beginning of the Sunrise Period with an entry into force of the UPCA on 1 April 2023. Although the general preparatory work of the UPC is on track, the decision was made that additional time may be given to allow future users to prepare themselves for the strong authentication which will be required to access the Case Management System (CMS) and to sign documents.
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All good things are worth waiting for

“All good things are worth waiting for”. Now the time has finally come: The Unified Patent Court has announced on its website that it plans to commence operations on April 1, 2023.
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Roadmap and preparations for the EU Unitary Patent and EU Patent Court System

As previously reported, following ratification in Germany, the way is cleared for the European patent with unitary effect (EU unitary patent) and the Unified Patent Court (UPC). As a result of the deposit of the instrument of ratification by Austria on 18 January 2022, the “provisional application of the EPC/UPC” has now entered into force.
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