Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

GAT, Solvay, and the Centralization of Patent Litigation in Europe

19 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2012 Last revised: 26 Apr 2013

Marketa Trimble

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law

Date Written: September 27, 2012

Abstract

This article discusses the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in Solvay v. Honeywell and its potential impact on the possibility of concentrating the litigation of multiple countries’ patents in a single national court.

Concentrating patent litigation that involves parallel patents in a single national court would improve the enforcement of patent rights by lowering litigation costs and enhancing the consistency of judgments concerning patents covering the same invention in multiple countries. However, any concentration of patent litigation is difficult because of the rule mandating that only courts in the country where a patent was granted may adjudicate the validity of the patent. In the European Union, the 2006 judgment in GAT v. LuK appeared to solidify this notion by holding that the exclusive jurisdiction rule, now in Article 24(4) of the Brussels I Regulation (recast), applies to any decision on patent validity. However, the recent decision in Solvay opens the interesting possibility that preliminary assessments of patent validity could be made even by courts outside the country of the patent grant. This article discusses whether Solvay could be extended to cover the assessments of validity that German courts conduct in infringement proceedings. If Solvay were to apply to these assessments, German courts could become the natural centers of litigation of infringements of multiple countries’ patents in Europe.

Keywords: patent, unified patent court, patent court agreement, European patent, litigation, jurisdiction, European Union, Court of Justice of the European Union, ECJ, CJEU, GAT v. LuK, Solvay, bifurcation, Voda v. Cordis

Suggested Citation

Trimble, Marketa, GAT, Solvay, and the Centralization of Patent Litigation in Europe (September 27, 2012). 26 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 515 (2012); UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2152810

Marketa Trimble (Contact Author)

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law ( email )

4505 South Maryland Parkway
Box 451003
Las Vegas, NV 89154
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
135
Rank
180,807
Abstract Views
985