Despite increasing harmonisation of patent law - for example, the adoption by the US of the "First to File" rule in the America Invents Act - there remains no global system, other than arbitration, which provides a single solution to multi-jurisdiction patent disputes. Nor is there such a system on the horizon. While the establishment of the UPC in Europe may eventually provide some improvement for patent disputes in the 28 EU Member States, that new Federal System brings with it the several uncertainties identified above and is, of course, limited in its jurisdiction.
With increased use of international arbitration in this sector, provided it continues to deliver sound, effective decisions within a reasonable time frame and at a reasonable cost, it is to be expected that it will more and more become the procedure of choice for parties in multi-country patent disputes.
David Perkins and Richard Price review some of the failings of the current system, and some of the uncertainties surrounding the proposed Unified Patent Court, while identifying which types of patent dispute are most suitable for arbitration. The full article is published on the Kluwer Arbitration Blog.