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UPC-Updates | 30. 1월 2024

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

The detailed article is published at JUVE Patent.

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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Comparison of opposition proceedings at the EPO and revocation 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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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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The German Federal Constitution Court clears the way for the UPC

The German Federal Constitutional Court rejected the two pending applications for a temporary injunction directed against the Act on the Agreement of 19 February 2013 on a Unified Patent Court. With this decision, the Federal Constitutional Court has cleared the way for a timely ratification of the UPC Agreement and thus for the entry into force of the Unified Patent Court UPC, probably in 2022.
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