With the preparatory Unified Patent Court (UPC) committee recently announcing that the court will open in April 2023, World IP Review interviewed Finnegan partner Nicholas Fox for his insight on what many practitioners believe is an ambitious timeline.
Given that it is likely that the court will need to hit the ground running, it is essential that everything is in fully working order on day one. That means all of the UPC road map must be implemented before the court opens. Given the repeated delays in getting the court open, postponing the opening date yet again would seriously damage the court’s reputation. I am sure the preparatory committee is well aware of that and that they would not have published this road map unless they were confident that the April 1 opening date could be guaranteed.
Additionally, he predicts that the court will be busiest on its first day. He said:
I expect there will be a flurry of litigation initiated on day one when the court opens. Certainly, there are patentees and litigators who are itching to start using the new court. What happens after that will really depend upon whether or not the new court creates new incentives for bringing patent litigation, and how much litigation the court can attract to be transferred from other forums, particularly Germany, which is the busiest jurisdiction by far. Certainly, the UPC procedures do much to make it an attractive forum for enforcing rights.
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Visit our Unified Patent Court (UPC) resource center for insights on what to consider for European patents.