The new European Unified Patent Court (UPC) has been a long time coming – and now just a little bit longer with the two month delay recently announced. The new start date is 1 June 2023 with the sunrise period in which to pre-register opt-outs of European patents from the UPC’s jurisdiction now starting on 1 March 2023.

Despite the short delay, businesses around the world must continue to consider their strategies for the UPC and, in particular, opt-out, ahead of the revised start date. Herbert Smith Freehills’ Joint Global Head of Intellectual Property, Laura Orlando, recently spoke to Bloomberg Law to share her insights on what US lawyers should be considering in advance of its launch.

Discussing some of the key areas patent owners should be monitoring once the first cases are brought before the court, Laura says: “Patent owners should further pay attention to the regional dynamics that develop among courts of first instance, which could inform where in Europe they choose to launch UPC actions”.

Laura continues: “Patentees should be considering which might be more likely to award a preliminary injunction or be more generous with damages… some local flavour could develop at least initially before there has been any conformity of approach applied by the Court of Appeal.”

The UPC will have a Court of First Instance (divided into local, regional and central divisions) and a Court of Appeal (Luxembourg). Cases will commence in any one of these divisions according to the subject matter and the prescribed division set out in the UPC Agreement and the UPC Rules.

The original article “What US Lawyers Should Know as the EU Unified Patent Court Looms” was published by Kelcee Griffis at Bloomberg Law on 22 December 2022.

More information about the UPC and unitary patent can be found on our dedicated UPC & UP Hub.

For any questions relating to the UPC, please contact Laura Orlando or another member of our European patents team.

Our fully integrated, market leading European patent litigation team is ready to advise on all aspects of the practical and strategic issues you should be considering in preparation for the UPC.

Laura Orlando
Laura Orlando
Partner, Milan
+39 02 3602 1371