The Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court: A View from Private International Law

Author: Paul Torremans (University of Nottingham)

The creation of a unified patent court that will not only deal with unitary patents, but also with European patents is the result of a clear policy to create a single unitary patent for the single market and to centralize litigation concerning such a single patent in front of a single court. Such a court is by definition supranational, but it will also not completely replace the national courts of the member states. This gives therefore rise to issues of private international law and in particular the jurisdiction of the unified patent court needs to be determined. A similar need arises in respect of the central unit and the various division of the court. One needs rules to determine which of them will have jurisdiction in each case.

The EU has decided to deal with this issue on the basis of an amended version of the Brussels I Regulation. The paper will therefore address in a first stage these changes to the Brussels I framework. A critical analysis of these will be followed by a second stage where the paper examines whether the system put in place is capable of achieving the policy goals that lead to its creation.

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