Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Ireland contemplates hosting a UPC Local Division

The British Isles are buzzing with excitement and intrigue with regard to Europe's (anything but) Unified Patent Court. First we had the announcement that the Law Society of Scotland and the Society of Advocates were to press for Scotland to have a Local Division of their own [on which see Darren Smyth's recent post on the IPKat here]. Then, via the Mason Hayes Curran newsletter, this blogger read of Ireland's intention to host a Local Division of the Unified Patent Court. In short,
Richard Bruton, the Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation, has recently announced that Ireland has elected to establish a local division of the Court of First Instance of the Unified Patent Court (“UPC”) in Ireland. Ireland’s decision is significant in that the majority of Member States of the European Union may facilitate infringement cases through a regional division where a number of Member States collaborate to service such cases on a joint basis. In the case of smaller Member States, such infringement proceedings will have to take place in the central division of the UPC in Paris, London or Munich.

The business impact of this development is as follows:

  • Once established, the Irish local division of the UPC will permit unitary and/or European patent proprietors to bring pan-European infringement proceedings in Ireland rather than abroad in appropriate circumstances thereby eliminating the need for multiple Member State proceedings and thereby reducing time and legal costs 

  • Similarly, an Irish company that is in a patent infringement dispute with a unitary or European patent holder will be proceeded against in Ireland in respect of such infringement and not abroad, again potentially reducing time and legal costs; 

  • An injunction obtained in the local division of the UPC in Ireland will be effective in all participating Member States; 

  • Parties will also benefit from the increased expertise of the dedicated judicial panel to the UPC.
PatLit will keep its eyes open for further developments in this regard.

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