The patent landscape in Europe is on the brink of the most significant change in a generation. This will affect all owners of European patents (EPs) who will need to make important decisions about their portfolios by early 2018.

A Unitary Patent (UP) will be a patent offering uniform protection in up to 25 participating Member States of the European Union.

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is a proposed centralised patent court the participating EU Member States; a central court that will transform patent litigation in the EU.

Initially, the UPC will have exclusive jurisdiction in UP litigation, then after a transitional period of between 7 and 14 years it will also have exclusive jurisdiction in civil litigation related to infringement and validity for both the "classical" European patents (EPs) and UPs. 

When the UPC opens for business, unless they are opted-out, granted EPs will be subject to the jurisdiction of the UPC as well as the relevant national courts. This will mean that you will be able to enforce your EPs in a single action across all Member States that have ratified the UPC and for which your patent is validated.

If you would like to discuss strategy development or portfolio review, HGF can provide you with assistance and guidance on formulating and implementing your company's UPC strategy. Should you have any further questions about the UPC's impact on licences, ownership and SPCs, please contact our dedicated UPC team on UPCReady@hgf.com or contact your usual attorney to discuss these issues further.