The Future Role of the Unified Patent Court in Safeguarding Judicial Coherence in the European Patent System

Authors: Federica Baldan (University of Antwerp) and Esther van Zimmeren (University of Antwerp)

After several decades of negotiations, European Member States finally agreed on the establishment of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), a centralized and highly specialized court, as part of the Unitary Patent Package. The European patent system is an intricate, multilevel governance system. Safeguarding judicial coherence within such a system requires a continuous “dialogue” not only between different courts in a single country, but also between national courts of different countries, between the European Patent Office (EPO) and national courts, between the EPO and the UPC, between national courts and the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) and between the UPC and the CJEU. The research question of this paper is whether and how the establishment of the UPC may contribute to a dialogue between patent courts, the EPO and the CJEU and ultimately to judicial coherence.

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