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UPC handles 15% of Europe’s patent cases

05 Jun 2024 / ip Print

UPC handles 15% of Europe’s patent cases

An analysis by a firm that specialises in intellectual property (IP) has found that the Unified Patent Court (UPC) handled 15% of European patent cases in its first year of operation, according to the Law Society Gazette of England and Wales.

The UPC’s figures for the year to June 2023 give a figure of 373 cases, but the Gazette quoted Mathys & Squire partner Nicholas Fox as saying that this figure was reached by counting every single claim relating to a patent.

IP specialist firm Mathys & Squire’s analysis argued that a more realistic count was 205 – made up of 134 infringement cases, 39 revocation actions and 32 provisional-measures actions.

‘Too early to tell’

This meant that the UPC handled 15% of European patent cases in its first year of operation.

Fox described this figure as “significant”, but added that it should not be overstated, as it was still dwarfed by figures from national courts. Mathys & Squire pointed out that German courts heard 841 cases in the same period.

The Gazette quoted Fox as saying that it was too early to tell whether the court would achieve the ambition of becoming Europe's primary court for patent litigation.

He added that, as very few UPC cases had yet to reach any form of conclusion, it would be some time before its jurisprudence resembled anything approaching a settled state.

Irish vote postponed

Ireland had been due to hold a referendum on joining the court this week, but the Government announced in April that the vote would not go ahead.

Peter Burke (Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment) said that more time was needed for “public discourse and engagement” on the issue, adding that the Government still believed that joining the UPC was essential.

Romania this week became the 18th EU state to ratify the agreement setting up the court, which will come into force in the country on 1 September.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland