Boult Wade Tennant
UPC » The UPC in numbers – June 2023 to February 2024

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) has recently released updated details of the case load of the Court* since it commenced operations in June 2023.

In the intervening period the Court of First Instance (CFI) has heard a total of 274 cases, with some key takeaways from the lifespan of the UPC so far being:

Infringement cases: 96 of the cases filed before the CFI have been infringement actions. These have been heard across a variety of local divisions across Europe, but so far the majority have been in Germany (36 in Munich, 20 in Dusseldorf, 11 in Mannheim and five in Hamburg). Paris (nine cases), the Nordic Baltic regional division (five cases),then Milan and the Hague (three case each) and Brussels, Helsinki, Copenhagen and Vienna (one case each) have been less busy.

Counterclaims: Counterclaims for revocation in 39 individual infringement actions have been heard so far.

Types of actions: Infringement actions have to date been by far and away the most common use-case for the Court, with 96 cases. Of the remainder, revocation actions (24 cases) and provisional measures (17 cases) are the next most common forms of actions before the Court.

Language: As was expected, the language of proceedings of the Court has been dominated by German (48% of cases) and English (43% of cases). French (4%), Italian (3%) and Dutch (2%) are marginal use cases so far.

Appeal: The Court of Appeal has started to receive appeals – 27 cases so far.

IPC classes: Class H is the most prevalent class seen before the CFI, with 37 infringement actions, 19 counterclaims and three revocation actions. Class A (20, six and 13 respectively) and Class B (17, seven and three respectively) have seen the next highest usage. Classes D, E, and F have seen far lower uptake, with no counterclaims or revocations, and a total of four infringement actions across all three classes.

*Figures correct up to the end of February 2024

Relevant sectors
Consumer goods and retail
Food and beverage
Artificial intelligence and machine learning
Trade marks
  • Mechanical products
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  • Nanotechnology
Industrial manufacturing and processing
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  • Printing tech
  • Additive manufacturing
  • Coatings
  • Construction
Electronics and electrical devices
  • Travel and leisure
  • Computer and IT architecture and system design
  • Medical devices
  • Optics
  • Robotics
  • Scientific instruments
  • Semiconductor devices
  • Wearable tech and human interfaces
Communications and networks 
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  • Cloud computing
  • Internet of things (IOT)
  • Wired and wireless networks
Energy and green technologies
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  • Diagnostics
  • Generic market entry
  • Medicinal chemistry
  • Methods of production and synthesis
  • Personalised medicine/disease biomarkers
  • Pharmaceutical formulations
  • Polymorphs
  • Small molecule pharmaceuticals
  • Supplementary protection certificates (SPCs)
  • Next generation sequencing
  • Women’s health products
  • Vaccinology (e.g. viral vectors; mRNA vaccines)
  • Therapeutic antibodies
  • Synthetic biology
  • Stem cell therapies
  • Recombinant protein production and purification
  • Personalised medicine/disease biomarkers
  • Nucleic acid synthesis
  • Bioinformatics
  • Immuno-oncology (e.g. checkpoint inhibitors; modified T cells)
  • GM crops
  • Genomic and molecular tools and methods
  • Gene editing (e.g. CRISPR)
  • Drug delivery
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  • Antibody manufacture and formulation
  • Antibody engineering
Medical devices and diagnostics 
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  • Devices
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Computing and software 
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  • Multimedia, audio/video processing and animation
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  • Data and software security, cryptography and digital rights management (DRM)
  • Data management and storage, databases and data compression
  • Metaverse, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)
  • Search engines
  • Robotic process automation
  • Quantum computing
  • Natural language processing
  • Bioinformatics
  • Blockchain and distributed ledgers
  • Communications and networks
  • Computer games
  • Fintech and adtech
  • Machine vision
  • Motor capture
  • Signal processing
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning