Patents/ Utility Models
A single court, the Unified Patent Court, centrally decides on patent infringement and validity, with a technically qualified judge typically being involved. The judgment applies to several countries and is enforceable on a central basis. However, the UPC can centrally declare invalid a Unitary Patent with effect for all participating EU member states.
The proceedings are short and will be conducted in a single language. The corresponding court file is digital. Communication takes place electronically. This saves time. However, tight and strict deadlines can lead to heavy time pressure in a dispute, especially if a plurality of proceedings have to be conducted in parallel before the UPC.
There is no established case law yet, so the outcome of proceedings is more difficult to predict. This will change, however, as the new system evolves.
Coexistence of a Unitary Patent and corresponding national IP rights (patent and/or utility model) increases strategic options.