Volume 52 (2015) / Issue 6
After decades of negotiations, European Member States finally agreed on the establishment of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), a centralized and highly specialized court, as part of the Unitary Patent Package. The European patent system is an intricate, multi-level governance system. Safeguarding judicial coherence within such a system requires a continuous “dialogue” not only between different courts in a single country, but also between national courts of different countries, between the European Patent Office (EPO) and national courts, between the quasi-judicial Boards of Appeal of the EPO and the national courts, between the EPO and the UPC, between the Boards of Appeal of the EPO and the UPC, between national courts and the ECJ and between the UPC and the ECJ. The main aim of the article is to examine to what extent the establishment of the UPC may contribute to a dialogue between these actors for the enhancement of judicial coherence of the European patent system. The paper explores different “tools” available for ensuring judicial coherence.
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