The European patent landscape is going through one of the most significant changes in 50 years. The Unified Patent Court (UPC), a centralised, common patent court for all member states of the European Union, is about to become a reality.

The UPC will create a single approach to patents, allowing registration and litigation across 24 European Member States. Following Austria’s decision to ratify, the Unified Patent Court (UPC) has now entered the provisional application phase, which projects its start date as late 2022.

With unitary effect, the court will have exclusive competence of European patents, excluding a few exceptions throughout the transitional period.


How is the market responding?

Many businesses are having to rethink their IP strategy accordingly and looking to streamline this new system. Whilst there is a clear opportunity to put forward assets as a single patent, this is not necessarily a ‘cut and dried’ approach for all portfolios.

In response to this need, we’ve observed a number of firms, such as Bird & Bird and Potter Clarkson, respond by assembling specialist UPC teams to help plan new approaches for their clients. We expect to see more firms advertise these services and have observed through our clients that there is a growing need for upskilling existing staff in the new system, as well as hiring patent professionals to support these changes.


If you are looking to develop your business, we would be delighted to assist. Whether you are looking for your next career opportunity, help expanding your team, or assistance with mergers and acquisitions, contact us today for a confidential discussion.

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For more information, please contact

Milli Bouri

Partner & Practice Head - M&A Transactions