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UPC – Carrier v. Bitzer / Appeal / Stay of revocation proceedings pending opposition proceedings

30 May 2024

Carrier Corporation v. BITZER Electronics A/S, Order of the Court of Appeal of the Unified Patent Court issued on 28 May 2024, Case no. UPC_CoA_22/2024

3. The mere fact that the revocation proceedings before the UPC relate to a patent which is also the subject of opposition proceedings before the EPO is not sufficient to allow an exception to the principle that the Court will not stay proceedings. The Convention on the Grant of European Patents and the UPCA allow third parties to challenge the validity of a patent in both opposition and revocation proceedings and allow them to initiate revocation proceedings while opposition proceedings relating to the same patent are pending.

4. The principle of avoiding irreconcilable decisions does not require that the UPC always stay revocation proceedings pending opposition proceedings. Firstly, decisions in which the UPC and EPO issue different rulings on the revocation of a European patent are not irreconcilable. Where one body upholds the patent and the other revokes it, the latter decision will prevail. Secondly, the interests of harmonising decisions on the validity of a European patent can be promoted by ensuring that the body that decides last can take the decision of the body that decides first into account in its decision. That means that the interests of harmonisation in general do not require a stay by the UPC where it can be expected that the UPC will issue its decision first.

The entire decision can be accessed here.