Changes in EU Patent Law

COPENHAGEN–3 MAR 2023, After years of anticipation, the new European Union Unified Patent Court (UPC) is finally set to begin operations on June 1, 2023. This court has been established to address issues of infringement and validity concerning the new European Union Unitary Patent and “classic” European Patents (EP). This development marks a significant milestone in European patent law and has far-reaching implications.

The current EP-system enforces and invalidates EP patents on a country-by-country basis despite being filed centrally. The UPC, on the other hand, will enforce and revoke EP patents across the entire EU (most member states) unless an “opt out” application is filed. While this means that enforcement can be carried out almost EU-wide with a single action, it also means that an EP patent can be wiped out almost EU-wide with a single action.

EP patent holders who wish to remove the risk of central revocation, but lose the option to enforce in one go, should “opt out” their patents or applications during the “sunrise” period, which began on March 1, 2023 and ends June 1, 2023.  The decision to “opt out” will depend on various circumstances, and it is possible to do so even after June 1, 2023. However, if not “opted out” by that date, a revocation action may be filed on that very day.

It is crucial for EP patent holders to start considering their options and take appropriate action.

For more information contact: Henrik Villumsen at HENRIK VILLUMSEN LAWFIRM, [email protected] 

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