The long awaited unitary patent (UP) and Unified Patent Court (UPC) system represents the biggest shake-up of the European patent system in decades. Current expectations are that the new system will come into effect in early 2023. However, despite the projected start date for the UPC being a mere matter of months away, a recent poll carried out by Bristows suggests that patent licensors, licensees and co-owners may not be as prepared as they could be.
When asked roughly what percentage of licensing and collaboration agreements respondents had seen over the last 5 years which addressed the UPC, 48 out of 52 respondents replied that only 0-25% of those agreements addressed the UPC.
The poll was taken as part of a Lexology webinar hosted by Bristows commercial IP lawyers Claire Smith and Ellen Lambrix entitled “Are your agreements ready for the UPC”. The webinar was attended by a range of IP professionals representing companies and institutions across a range of industries and tackled issues such as opting-out of the system, the impact of the UPC on licensing and collaboration deals, unitary patents as items of property and co-ownership of unitary patents.
The webinar is available on demand to view here.