Reset and Go: The Unitary Patent System Post-Brexit

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Abstract

Patent law in Europe is characterized by a historic rivalry between EU and non-EU patent systems. The EU for decades could not establish a working, attractive and balanced system of its own. After the failure of its well-tailored 2009 model, the Commission was determined to push ahead with the patent plans even at the cost of compromise that severely damaged the functionality of the patent system. The result was the 2012 Unitary Patent Package, which has since been cleared twice by the CJEU in spite of severe doubts concerning EU law compatibility. Just as the race seemed to near finish line, the June 2016 Brexit referendum put a spoke in the EU’s wheel. Against the backdrop of a brief review of the systemic rivalry, this paper recounts and assesses the CJEU’s recent case law on the legality of the UP Package, the implications of the Brexit vote and the prospects, if any, for the unitary patent post-Brexit.

Keywords

Unitary patent Unified Patent Court (UPC) Brexit Enhanced cooperation European Patent Convention (EPC) European Patent Office (EPO) 

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Copyright information

© Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vienna UniversityViennaAustria

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