UPC-series: UPC is getting popular in the life sciences sector

Even from the early days of the UPC’s operation, it is obvious that the life sciences sector is taking the lead on patent litigation. As of the day of writing, a big number of actions submitted before the UPC derive from the medical technology sector (15 actions). This is a surprising development, since it was expected that the big pharmaceutical companies will stick with the national litigation scheme. The electronic tech field is still predominant with 20 actions filed before the UPC, the e-cigarette industry follows with 9 actions and last but not least the telecommunication sector with 7 actions.

Specifically, 10x Genomics has already filed three actions before the UPC against NanoString in the Munich local division and against Vizgen in the Hamburg local division. The UPC has already issued a ruling upon this case, subjected to appeal, thus paving the way for more decisions to come concerning unitary patents and serving as a crucial example of how the UPC handles life sciences litigation cases.

Sanofi filed at the Munich Central division a revocation action against Amgen, continuing a dispute which is supposed to be worth one hundred million euros. Amgen proceeded in suing Sanofi for the exact same patent for infringement before the Munich local division. Astellas Pharma has also raised revocation actions against patents jointly owned by Helios and the University of Osaka, thus raising the number of filed actions before the UPC from the pharmaceutical sector. As days pass by, the life sciences sector is emerging more and more as a major player in the court’s caselaw.

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