Early Adoption of the Unified Patent Court


The Unified Patent Court (UPC) opened its doors on June 1, 2023. Nineteen actions were initiated during the first six weeks, across a range of subject areas and case values.

It had been widely assumed that large companies would opt-out their high-value patents, particularly in the pharmaceutical sector. However, there are two cases valued at EUR 100 million in progress. Amgen, Inc. has brought an infringement action against Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi-Aventis for infringement of EP 3666797—a patent claiming antigen binding proteins for treating conditions related to raised cholesterol levels—while Sanofi-Aventis has applied for revocation of the patent in a separate action. These cases show that the potential of the UPC as a forum for cross-border enforcement and damages can outweigh the risk of centralized revocation.

Other notable companies asserting patents at the UPC include Edwards LifeSciences, Philips, and Huawei, while the companies on the receiving end of the infringement actions include Tesla, Nestlé Health Science, Netgear and Belkin.

The EP 797 cases have the highest values by a considerable margin. The other cases range between EUR 150,000 and EUR 15 million. As expected, Germany is the busiest location for UPC litigation. Three revocation actions have been allocated to the Munich Central Division, while the most popular local divisions are Munich (nine of the 16 infringement cases) and Düsseldorf (three cases).

Amgen Inc. Sanofi-Aventis; Regeneron Antigen binding proteins 1 Infringement; 1 Revocation 200 million
Edwards Life Sciences Meril and others Prosthetic heart valve 2 Infringement 16 million
AIM Sport Vision Supponor Image processing 1 Infringement 15 million
Ocado Innovation Ltd Autostore System Storage systems 3 Infringement 14 million
10x Genomics Vizgen, Inc. Analyte detection 1 Infringement 10 million
Philips / Access Business Group Belkin and others Inductive power transfer 2 Infringement 5 million
KraussMaffei Extrusion Troester Extrusion apparatus 1 Infringement 2 million
Avago Tech Tesla Power supply control; Transmitter 2 Infringement 2 million
Healios Osaka Uni Astellas Institute Retinal pigment epithelial cells 2 Revocation 1 million
Huawei Netgear Networks 1 Infringement 1 million
Franz Kadewei Bette Bathtub sanitation 1 Infringement 0.5 million
N.V. Nutricia Nestlé Health Science Respiratory Tract Infection treatment 1 Infringement 0.15 million