Understanding the Unified Patent Court: The Next Rocket-Docket for Patent Owners?

Kevin R. Greenleaf, Michael W. O’Neill, and Aloys Hüettermann

©2016. Published in Landslide, Vol. 8, No. , March/April 2016, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

Much like Americans, Europeans are revising their patent laws to include a new litigation-style proceeding to determine patent validity and infringement. These proceedings will take place in the Unified Patent Court (UPC), which will be installed together with the unitary patent (UP), the latter allowing a single patent for nearly all of Europe. Such a revision will be the greatest change in European patent law since the establishment of the European Patent Office (EPO) in the 1970s. American patent practitioners need to understand how the new UPC will operate. Europeans can learn from the American experience of establishing the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

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