Takeaway: Although the EU UPC is set to launch in the next few months, there are several questions that the court will need to face, including legal challenges and Brexit.
The European Union’s Unified Patent Court will eliminate the need to litigate patent disputes on a country-by-country basis. Instead, the court will allow patent disputes to be handled more efficiently by being litigated across two dozen EU nations through a single proceeding.
The EU UPC could be open as early as fall of this year or early next year, but one main question before launching is what will happen to its division that was set to open in London since Brexit. More pressing, however, is whether patent applicants and owners will opt to have their existing European patents to be a part of the new UPC system. For the first few months before the court launches, companies may opt out of the UPC’s jurisdiction for their current patents. Nevertheless, a patent can be opted back into the system if it’s not being litigated.