Biopharma Companies Embrace Dual UPC and US Litigation Strategy

May 20, 2024
Biopharma litigation strategy

Patent licensing companies are increasingly using a dual litigation strategy involving both the Unified Patent Court (UPC) in Europe and the United States courts. This approach aims to maximize their leverage in patent disputes.


 The Unified Patent Court (UPC)

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is a new judicial system in Europe designed to streamline patent litigation. It allows patent holders to enforce their rights across multiple European countries with a single legal action.


Advantages of the UPC


  • Cost Efficiency: One case covers many countries, reducing overall legal expenses.
  • Consistency: A single court decision applies uniformly across member states, reducing the risk of differing national rulings.
  • Speed: The UPC aims to handle cases more swiftly than some national courts.


Combining UPC and US Litigation


Patent licensing companies are combining UPC actions with litigation in the United States. This dual strategy helps to exert pressure on alleged infringers by tackling them in two significant markets simultaneously.


Benefits of the Dual Approac


  • Global Leverage: Companies can enforce patents across Europe and the US, key markets for many industries.
  • Increased Settlements: Facing litigation in multiple jurisdictions may push companies towards quicker settlements.
  • Diverse Legal Tools: Different legal systems offer varied tools and remedies, increasing the chances of a favorable outcome.


Strategic Considerations


  • Jurisdictional Expertise: Legal teams need expertise in both European and US patent law.
  • Resource Allocation: Balancing resources between two major legal actions is crucial.
  • Coordinated Legal Tactics: Actions in the UPC and US courts should be coordinated to reinforce each other.


Challenges and Risks


  • High Costs: Dual litigation can be expensive, requiring significant financial resources.
  • Complexity: Managing cases in different legal systems increases complexity.
  • Potential Delays: Coordinating between two courts may lead to procedural delays.


Preparing for Dual Litigation


  • Building Strong Legal Teams: Ensure teams have expertise in both UPC and US systems.
  • Developing Comprehensive Strategies: Plan for both immediate and long-term litigation outcomes.
  • Monitoring Legal Developments: Stay updated on changes in patent law and court procedures in both jurisdictions.

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