Webinar recording: The UPC countdown has started – are you ready?

On 29 March, our leading lawyers in Düsseldorf, Milan, Paris and London hosted a webinar exploring what businesses need to know and what they need to be doing now to prepare for the Unified Patent Court (UPC), which is set to start hearing cases on 1 June 2023. The presentation was followed by a short Q&A. Read more

Webinar: The Unified Patent Court (UPC) countdown has started – are you ready?

After years of debate and preparation, the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is set to start accepting cases on 1 June 2023. We invite you to join our pan-European IP team for a webinar on 29 March 2023 as we assess the biggest shake-up in the region's approach to IP for a generation. The changes will impact on those with European patents (EPs) as well as those selling into or operating in Europe even if they do not have EPs. Our leading lawyers from Düsseldorf, Milan, Paris and London will explain what you need to know and what you should be doing now to prepare for the UPC and unitary patent (UP). Read more

Deposit of final required ratification means that the UPC will to go live on 1 June 2023

The Unified Patent Court will start to accept cases on 1 June 2023 and the sunrise period for opt-out of European patents from the new court's jurisdiction will start on 1 March. Germany has today (17 February 2023) deposited its instrument of ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA), the final ratification required to trigger the run-up period to the start of the UPC. The arrival of the UPC will mark a fundamental change in patent litigation in Europe, providing a one-stop-shop for resolution of patent disputes - with the possibility of pan-European injunction and damages awards but also of the revocation (loss) of patents across participating states in one action too Read more

HSF shares insights on the Milan local division UPC judges for Managing IP

Following the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Administrative Committee's appointment of 85 legal and technical judges last month, including the appointment of two legally qualified judges in the Milan local division, Herbert Smith Freehills' Joint Global Head of Intellectual Property Laura Orlando shares her insights with Managing IP on what this may mean for the UPC. Read more

UPC hopes to be operational by end of 2022 or early 2023 and opt-out sunrise period to start immediately Germany deposits instrument of ratification

The UPC administration has confirmed that  it is a reasonable assessment that the start of the UPC's operations will happen during the last quarter of 2022 or early 2023. The announcement stated that: "[German ratification] will happen when the Administrative Committee is confident that the Court is operational. The German deposit will also mark the start of the sunrise period during which it will be possible to opt out existing European patents from the jurisdiction of the Court". The timing of the start of operations of the Court depends on the progress of the preparatory work. Read more

HSF feature article in PLC Magazine on the UPC and unitary patent (part 1)

Herbert Smith Freehills' European IP team have authored a feature article The UPC and the unitary patent: a choice for businesses, published in the March 2022 edition of PLC Magazine on the impact of the UPC and unitary patent system now likely to commence at the end of 2022 or early in 2023. In Part 1 we look the patent choices the new patent system will provide for prospective patentees, including whether to request unitary status for their EPs (the unitary patent). We look in detail at unitary patents - how to obtain unitary status and the transactional issues surrounding unitary patents, including applicable law of property and licensing and co-ownership issues. We also set out the timeframe to the date when the UPC will start accepting cases; explain where the UPC and unitary patents will have effect; and suggest what businesses should be doing now. Read more

EPO issues guidance on achieving unitary patent status from day 1 of the UPC/UP system for European patent applications coming up to grant

With the Unified Patent Court and unitary patent system now likely to commence towards the second half of 2022, the European Patent Office has issued transitional measures aimed at ensuring that patents coming to grant close to the start of the new system are able to get unitary protection (ie unitary patent status) from the "day 1", including via a delayed grant mechanism. Read more