Unified Patent Court
A single patent court for Member States of the European Union
The UPC is an international court common to currently seventeen EU Member States, in which the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA) is in force. The UPCA can be ratified by any of the other seven EU Member States which have signed it at any time. Furthermore, any of the remaining EU Member States could still accede to it anytime.
The UPC offers a uniform, specialised, and efficient framework for patent litigation at a European level. It hears both infringement and revocation actions. The Court has exclusive jurisdiction in respect of “classic” European patents and European patents with unitary effect (Unitary Patents). The exclusive jurisdiction regarding “classic” European patents is, however, subject to exceptions during a transitional period of seven years. During this period, actions concerning “classic” European patents may still be brought before national courts or other competent national authorities. Furthermore, “classic” European patents can be opted out entirely from the UPC’s jurisdiction.
The Court comprises a Court of First Instance, a Court of Appeal, and a Registry. In addition a Patent Mediation and Arbitration Centre is foreseen to foster amicable settlements.
The Court is composed of judges from all over Europe. The panels comprise both legally and technically qualified judges with great expertise in patent litigation.
Court of First Instance
The Court of First Instance has a decentralised structure and comprises a central division in Paris with a section in Munich, as well as various local and regional divisions located all over Europe. Read more about the Court’s locations.
The Court of First Instance hears various types of actions, which are listed in Art. 32 of the UPCA.
The President of the Court of First Instance is Ms Florence Butin.
Court of Appeal
The Court of Appeal has its seat in Luxembourg and decides on appeals against decisions of the Court of First Instance and on requests for rehearing of final decisions of the Court.
The President of the Court of Appeal is Dr Klaus Grabinski, who is also the President of the UPC.