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UPC – SVF Holdco v. ICPillar / Interpretation of ‘a commercial relationship’

16 Apr 2024

SVF Holdco v. ICPillar LLC, Court of First Instance – Paris (FR) Local Division, 11 April 2024, Case No. ORD_18817/2024

“In the case of multiple defendants, if one of the defendants has its residence within the territory of the Local Division seized, Article 33(1)(b) UPCA must be applied, regardless of whether the other defendants are based inside or outside the Contracting Member States or inside or outside the EU. Hence the only requirements to be met are: 1) the multiple defendants have a commercial relationship, 2) the action relates to the same alleged infringement.

“The requirement of a “commercial relationship” implies a “certain quality and intensity”. However, to avoid multiple actions and the risk of irreconcilable decisions from separate proceedings, and to comply with the main principle of efficiency within the UPC, the interpretation of the link between the defendants should not be too narrow. The fact of belonging to the same group (legal entities) and having related commercial activities aimed at the same purpose (such as R&D, manufacturing, sale and distribution of the same products) is sufficient to be considered as “a commercial relationship” within the meaning of the Article 33(1)(b) UPCA.”

The order can be read here.