Property and contractual aspects of Unitary Patents and of patents in the UPC system by Wouter Pors, Bird & Bird The Hague
The introduction of the Unitary Patent Package, consisting of the Unitary Patent (UP) and the Unified Patent Court (UPC) raises new issues with regard to patents as an object of property and with regard to contractual aspects of both Unitary Patents and traditional European patents. The law of property and contract law have not been harmonized throughout the European Union. Actually, there are big differences, especially between common law systems such as the United Kingdom and Ireland on the one hand and civil law systems on the other hand.
The Unitary Patent Package is not aiming at providing a solution for this. Actually, recital 6 of the Unitary Patent Regulation (UPR) provides: “As an object of property, a European patent with unitary effect should be dealt with in its entirety, and in all the participating Member States, as a national patent of the participating Member State determined in accordance with specific criteria such as the applicant’s residence, principal place of business or place of business.” This is then repeated in Article 7(1) UPR, followed by further details on how the place of business is determined.
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