Suzanne Townley

News Editor, Solicitors Journal

Unified Patent Court: appointment of judges begins

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Unified Patent Court: appointment of judges begins

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Despite the UK not signing up, the court will still impact UK businesses looking to protect intellectual property in Europe

Europe’s new one-stop shop for IP enforcement – the Unified Patent Court – took a major step forward on Friday as 90 new judges began to be informed that their applications to sit on the court have been successful.

Leading intellectual property law firm, Mathys & Squire, said the Unified Patent Court is no longer a distant prospect but an imminent reality for businesses and inventors in the UK and across Europe.

The Administrative Committee of the Unified Patent Court received over 1,000 applications from judges across Europe. Of these, 90 have been selected to serve on the court.

The new court will serve as a single point of contact for litigation of IP infringement within participating countries – which could potentially save businesses thousands in legal costs.

After many years of delay, the Unified Patent Court is finally taking shape. First agreed in 2013 – but subject to numerous delays in domestic ratification – the court will soon clear one of its last major hurdles on the road to full implementation.

Andreas Wietzke, Partner at Mathys & Squire said: “The letters being sent out from now onwards will give the Unified Patent Court what a court needs most – judges. The UPC has been on the horizon for decades but now finally is taking shape.

“UK & European businesses which have long been looking forward to a simplified and cost-efficient patent litigation system can now be increasingly confident that this is just around the corner.

“Businesses now need to prepare for the UPC to become a reality and work out their strategy for maximising their IP protection across Europe.”