The European Council on 29 June concluded the negotiations on the EU’s future unitary patent system. The long-awaited decision paves the way for establishing less expensive, simpler and more efficient patent protection for businesses, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises, in the EU.
The leaders had to solve the last outstanding issue: the seat of the Unified Patent Court’s Central Division of the Court of First Instance. They agreed that it would be based in Paris and have two specialised sections, one in London and the other in Munich. The office of the Court’s President will also be based in Paris. The first President of the Court should come from the member state hosting the Court’s Central Division.
The Unified Patent Court will have exclusive competence in respect of actions relating to the validity or infringement of a European unitary patent. This will eliminate the risk of multiple patent lawsuits in different member states concerning the same patent, as well as the risk that court rulings on the same dispute might differ from one member state to another. In addition, the single system will bring down patent litigation costs for businesses significantly. The European Commission has calculated that, with the single court, litigation expenses incurred by European companies can be reduced by approximately 289 million euro each year. Continue reading