What is the Unified Patent Court?

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is a proposed centralised patent court the participating EU Member States

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. During the transitional period, existing and future classical EPs will be subject to both the existing national jurisdictions and the jurisdiction of the UPC – but classical EPs can be opted out of the UPC system (subject to an as yet unknown fee).

The UPC will have the ability to grant injunctions throughout the participating Member States, and to order the central revocation of both EPs and UPs. Consequently, unless opted-out, existing and future EPs can be subject to central revocation. The UPC will consist of a Court of First Instance, with a Central as well as Local and Regional Divisions, a Court of Appeal and a Registry.

The Court of First Instance Central Division will have specialised sections in London, Paris and Munich; London will have jurisdiction over litigation of patents relating to Chemistry and the Life Sciences; Munich will have jurisdiction over litigation of patents relating to Mechanical Engineering and Paris will have jurisdiction for other technologies (including Electronics).

Local divisions can be set up in a Member State upon request, depending of number of patent cases the national courts hear in that State. There can be Regional Divisions for Member States who do not qualify for a Local Division. The Court of Appeal will be in Luxembourg.