The Unitary Patent System and its Alternative Strategies for Patent Protection in Europe

The unitary patent resounds troughout the lands. However, what kind of animal is it? Should it be used, and if yes, how and what for should it be used? How can it help innovative businesses to protect and monetize their inventions in a better way? These and further questions will be discussed in very practical terms by several, international experts in the field.

The unitary patent is a creation of the European Union; it is fundamentally different from the other industrial property titles of the EU, the Community trademark, the Community design and the Community plant variety: It is not granted by an EU agency but by the European Patent Office (EPO).

Various attempts to create a community patent, i.e. a patent of the Union which is self-contained in respect of grant and validity, have been made since the late fifties of the last century and turned out to be in vain. Over the decades, the main contested issues were a common court system and the language problem, which is always a delicate question in Europe, in the present context regarding the question into which languages the patent has to be translated. Eventually three developments made it possible to overcome the obstacles on the way to a unitary patent for the whole Union: First, the possibility of “enhanced cooperation” among a group of EU states, created by the Treaty of Amsterdam for situations in which not all EU states are prepared to cooperate. Second, the decision to connect the new EU title in the simplest manner with the grant proceedings before the EPO and to design it as a mere option for the applicant. Third, the design of a specialized Unified Patent Court allowing for specialized patent litigation system for Unitary patents and European bundle patents.

IP Event
Patent Litigation


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Prinzregentenplatz 7
81675 Munich

Langue de la Conférence


Dr. Matthias Zigann

Regional Court of Munich I (Patent Chamber)

Dr. Matthias Zigann is Presiding Judge at the Munich Regional Court. There he heads the 7th (patent) division since December 2012. After a three years fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition in Munich he served as a public prosecutor in Landshut for four years and as a regular member of the 7th division of the Munich Regional Court for six years. Before his appointment as presiding judge he had been delegated to serve as a research associate with the Xth civil (patent) division of the German Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe for three years.

Christof Wolpert

adidas AG

Christof Wolpert is the Director – Global Patents at the adidas Group and in that role leads the Global Patent Team which is responsible for all patent matters of adidas, Reebok, Rockport, CCM-Hockey, 5.10 and other brands. After completing a degree in Physics, Mr. Wolpert started his patent career in 1996 at Biotronik, a company producing medical devices such as heart pacemakers. Since 1999 he has been with the adidas Group, overseeing not only filing and prosecution work, but also litigation matters, product clearance and IP related contracts. During his tenure at adidas, Mr. Wolpert qualified as a European Patent Attorney.

Ian Kirby

Carpmaels & Ransford LLP

Ian Kirby is a partner at Carpmaels & Ransford LLP in London. He leads the dispute resolution team at Carpmaels, and focuses on multi-jurisdictional patent litigation and intellectual property disputes. He advises clients from a variety of industries, including the life sciences, engineering, software, microchip, telecommunications, and media and publishing industries. Ian has over 20 years experience in litigating and resolving cases before the English Patents Court and the other IP courts, including the IPEC, as well as the English appeal courts. He frequently advises on matters that cross both the Atlantic and into continental Europe. Ian litigates/resolves disputes in all areas of IP law, and is a member of the WIPO List of Mediators. Ian is ranked by Chambers, MIP, and IAM as an IP Star and a leading patent litigation lawyer.

Giovanni Casucci

Partner at the Milan Office, Attorney-at-Law (Curriculum Vitae)

Rudolf Teschemacher

Dr. Rudolf Teschemacher

Senior Consultant

Hans Wegner

Dr. Hans Wegner

German and European Patent Attorney, Of Counsel

Peter Hess †

Peter Hess †

German and European Patent Attorney, Managing Partner


01:00 pm to 07:30 pm

Moderator: Johannes Heselberger





Johannes Lang, Managing Partner


Status quo and expected further development

Rudolf Teschemacher


German local divisions of the Unified Patent Court – expected practice and bifurcation?

Tilman Müller-Stoy in discussion with Presiding Judge Matthias Zigann, Regional Court of Munich I (Patent Chamber)


Attractiveness of the Unitary Patent – extended scope of protection at which price?

Hans Wegner in discussion with Christof Wolpert, adidas AG


Coffee Break


How to license Unitary Patents successfully?

Peter K. Hess


National filing and enforcement options as add-on or way out?

Panel discussion:
Germany: Joachim Mader
UK: Ian Kirby (Carpmaels & Ransford LLP)
Italy: Giovanni Casucci
France: Julien Fréneaux


Q & A with all speakers: Best practices filing & enforcing


Dinner reception