The UPC will provide a one-stop shop for patent litigation throughout a large part of Europe. Decisions will be made by local and regional divisions of the UPC based across Europe that sit under the umbrella of one centralised judicial framework.
The anticipated introduction of the new system, currently expected to take place in early 2023, will impact European patent filing and enforcement strategies for businesses in all sectors.
The UP will co-exist with, and be an alternative to, national patents and classic European patents (EPs). It will provide patent protection in all participating states, with a single patent registration, without the need for national validation.
The UPC is a new European court that will have exclusive jurisdiction for disputes relating to infringement and validity of UPs and classic EPs, for participating member states, which have not been "opted out" of the new system. The UPC will not have any competence to hear cases concerning, or rule on, national patents. UPC litigation will therefore sit alongside, rather than replace, national patent litigation.
For classic EPs that have not been opted out, there will be a dual jurisdiction in the transition period, and an election can be made by the claimant as to where to bring proceedings i.e. in the national courts or the UPC.
The UPC will have a Court of First Instance, which will be divided into local, regional and central divisions, and a Court of Appeal. References may be made to the Court of Justice of the EU on the interpretation of EU law.
Claims for infringement, and claims for revocation or declarations of non-infringement, will be handled differently before the UPC.