UCL Faculty of Laws


EPO and UPC: Friends or Foes?

29 November 2023, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm


The annual Institute of Brand & Innovation Law Innovation Seminar

Event Information

Open to



UCL Laws Events


Gideon Schreier Lecture Theatre, UCL Laws
Bentham House, Endsleigh Gardens

About the event

In June 2023, the Unified Patent Court (UPC) open its doors for the first time, offering streamlined enforcement of Unitary Patents. At the same time, an alternative to central post-grant opposition at the European Patent Office (EPO) became available. UPC revocation actions can be brought against Unitary Patents (UP) and European Patents (EP) that have not been opted out of the UPC’s jurisdiction.

Both the EPO and UPC will base decisions regarding patentability on the European Patent Convention (EPC), which suggests that both proceedings will be substantively aligned, so how should a party wishing to challenge a UP or EP choose which is the best forum for their particular circumstances? What are the similarities and differences between EPO opposition proceedings and UPC central revocation actions? And what are the pros and cons of each? To what extent, for example, will the UPC take notice of EPO Board of Appeal decisions and adopt EPO practices, such as the ‘problem/solution’ approach to inventive step? Conversely, will it be the EPO that adapts its practices to the ways of the new court?  

The participants

UCL's Institute of Brand and Innovation Law has brought together a distinguished panel to consider these issues:

Dr Ingo Beckedorf (Chairman of Legal Board of Appeal, EPO)
Florence Butin (President of CFI of UPC)
Edward Oates (partner at Carpmaels and Ransford LLP)
Annsley Merelle Ward (partner at Wilmer Hale)
Chair: Professor Sir Robin Jacob (UCL Faculty of Laws and Director of the UCL Institute of Brand and Innovation Law)

Read about this event on the Kluwer Patent Blog


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