Some have said that the road to the UPC has been a rocky one but, bearing in mind that a single European patent system was first conceived over forty years ago, a straightforward path was never expected to be followed. It is starting to become apparent that the ambitious milestone of establishing a fully-functioning, single-European patent judicial forum by the end of 2015 was beyond the expectations of both stakeholders and the UPC Preparatory Committee itself, and it now appears that the end of 2016 is a more likely timeframe within which the UPC might come into operation.

Even though the culmination of the journey is some way off, this is an opportune time for potential stakeholders (including patent applicants and proprietors, and commercial enterprises conducting business in Europe) to formulate a strategy for managing patent disputes in the light of the new legal framework. To help equip you with the tools to navigate the new Court, we have been publishing a series of articles on our website, each addressing a different facet of the system, and which should help keep you on the road to the UPC, no matter how convoluted the journey.

Let’s take a look back at the road so far to the Unified Patent Court…

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