Cross-border Patent Disputes: Unified Patent Court or Commercial Arbitration?

Author: Ana Alba Betancourt (Queen Mary University of London)

Currently, the enforcement of a patent that is registered in several countries involves the risk of getting different and conflicting decisions from the national Courts. In February 2013, 25 European countries entered in an agreement that aims to homogenize the Patent system by creating the European Patent with Unitary effect and a Unified Patent Court (UPC). Having a patent enforceable in all of the jurisdictions of the signatory parties, through a single court proceeding, may represent an advantage to have legal certainty and lower down the risks of cross-border litigation. But, how is the UPC system going to work? How long will it take to achieve real legal certainty? This paper analyzes key issues of the UPC system and compares them with Arbitration, in order to find the advantages of one and other in cross-border conflicts of patents.

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