It was recently announced that Europe’s Unified Patent Court (UPC) has a target opening date of 1 December 2017.  When operational the UPC will hear disputes relating to unitary patents, a new form of patent protection that will be valid across the EU.

There will be branches of the UPC across the EU with major divisions in Paris, Germany and the UK.

The UK’s UPC branch is in Aldgate Tower and will host the ‘human necessities’ division, focusing on pharmaceuticals and medical devices disputes as well as managing the IT for the whole UPC system.

The courts will abide by EU law and be answerable to the Court of Justice of the European Union although the Intellectual Property Office has stated that the UPC is ‘not an EU institution’.