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Deal reached: Unitary Patent Court to have three homes

June 29, 2012

Deal reached: Unitary Patent Court to have three homes

June 29, 2012

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Deal reached: Unitary Patent Court to have three homes

After 40 years of negotiations (!) European leaders agreed today to resolve the final dispute holding up the Unitary European Patent: the physical location of the court. In keeping with recent Euro compromise resolutions, the location of the EU patent court will be split between London, Paris and Munich. The main location of the court will be Paris. A specialized London court will deal exclusively with life science cases, and a specialized Munich court will deal with mechanical engineering patents.

With the creation of the unified European patent court, litigants can obtain EU-wide judgment, rather than pursuing patent enforcement on a nation-by-nation basis as happens currently. The new court, seen in conjunction with a Unified European Patent, should dramatically simplify the process of obtaining and enforcing patents on an EU-wide basis.

Under current practice, a patent at the EPO nevertheless still needs to be validated in most EPO member states in order to be enforced. The new system will allow for filing in one location – the EPO – and enforcement in one court – the Unified European Patent Court (in whichever one of its three physical locations best fits the subject matter of the patent).