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).
PATENTEE / LICENSEE
TOTAL VALUE OF ACTIONS (EUR)
Antigen binding proteins
1 Infringement; 1 Revocation
Edwards Life Sciences
Meril and others
Prosthetic heart valve
AIM Sport Vision
Ocado Innovation Ltd
Philips / Access Business Group
Belkin and others
Inductive power transfer
Power supply control; Transmitter
Healios Osaka Uni
Retinal pigment epithelial cells
Nestlé Health Science
Respiratory Tract Infection treatment
We are tracking UPC filings in our dedicated Resource Center. Be sure to check back for regular updates.