Procedure and deadlines of a UPC infringement procedure

In the interest of effective enforcement, the Rules of Procedure of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) provide for consistently short time limits. Structured process management is therefore indispensable in infringement proceedings before the UPC.

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) has a strict time limit regime. The procedure and time limits are regulated in the Rules of Procedure of the Unified Patent Court.

According to these, the duration of first instance infringement proceedings should be about one year from the filing of the suit to the judgment. This is considerably shorter than the first instance of "classical" national infringement proceedings take in most member states - even somewhat shorter than in Germany, which has so far been internationally known for its speedy proceedings.

The strict time limit regime will pose numerous challenges to the parties, especially to the defendant. This is because the defendant must not only reply to a patent infringement action within 3 months of service. He must also file his invalidity counterclaim within the same period if he wishes to attack the patent in suit. A later, insolated nullity action before the central chamber is possible. However, it does not have to be taken into account by the UPC chamber dealing with the infringement action when considering the question of a possible suspension.

We have summarized the relevant deadlines of first instance UPC infringement proceedings for you with a timeline.

Of course, there may be deviations in individual cases. However, various UPC judges have already announced during presentations that extensions of time limits will be the absolute exception. In addition to a good substantive defense, structured project management is therefore also elementary in UPC proceedings in order to be able to grasp and coordinate the numerous parallel processes.


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