United Patent Court: a grand unified theory


Andreas Zachcial and Philipp Lilie

United Patent Court: a grand unified theory

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The Unified Patent Court is an essential component for the establishment of a unified European patent system. Andreas Zachcial and Philipp Lilie discuss its current state.

Early last year, the patent world sat up and took notice when the Unitary Patent regulations formally came into force. The intention was to create a patent that would guarantee supra-national protection for an invention in 25 countries across Europe. However, at the moment, applicants are still waiting in vain for the chance to obtain such a Unitary Patent.

The reason for this lack of availability is that the regulations on the Unitary Patent will not apply until the Unified Patent Court (UPC) has become operational. That court is essential for the unification of the European patent system and, as part of the judicial system of each of the 25 member states, it will become an institution unique to the field of patents.

"When it comes to operating and shaping the court and its reputation, the judges of the new court will have the most impact on the hoped-for success."

UPC, patent applications, European Patent Convention