CJEU provides guidance for EU courts on the threshold for patent PIs (preliminary injunctions) which will also apply to the UPC

The CJEU has recently issued a preliminary ruling dealing with the requirements needed for a patent preliminary injunction (PI) under Art. 9(1) IP Enforcement Directive 2004/48/EC, holding that the provision precludes "national case-law under which applications for interim relief for patent infringement must, in principle, be dismissed where the validity of the patent in question has not been confirmed, at the very least, by a decision given at first instance in opposition or invalidity proceedings". The CJEU decision will be seen as an encouragement for courts to grant preliminary injunctions under "untested" (eg. recently granted) patents, which has an impact beyond the German national system from where the reference originated, on other European courts and even 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

UPC Advisory Committee and UPC Budget Committee hold inaugural meetings

In a recent blog post, we reported that the UPC Administrative Committee held its first meeting in Luxembourg on 22 February 2022. The UPC Budget Committee and UPC Advisory Committee have now also held their inaugural meetings, meaning that each of the UPC Governing Bodies has now started their work to ensure the effective implementation … 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

First meeting of the UPC Administrative Committee held in Luxembourg

First meeting of the UPC Administrative Committee held in Luxembourg The UPC Administrative Committee held its first meeting in Luxembourg on 22 February 2022, according to a press release published on the UPC website. This represents an important step towards setting up the UPC, following the start of the provisional application period on 19 January … Read more

The creation of unitary SPCs and a ‘unified’ procedure for granting SPCs – the European Commission announces proposals

The European Commission has announced a proposal for a regulation on supplementary protection certificates ("SPCs") to create a unitary SPC right across participating states and/or a single "unified" procedure for granting national SPCs. Laura Orlando, an IP partner in our Milan office, and EMEA co-lead partner for the Life Sciences sector comments. 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