Powell Gilbert opens Dublin office to support UPC work

London IP powerhouse launches first international base to capitalise on EU's new Unified Patent Court

Leading IP law firm Powell Gilbert has opened its first international base in Dublin to support its work representing clients before the EU’s new Unified Patent Court (UPC). 

The London-based firm said the new office would complement its existing UK patent litigation practice as well as its work developing and implementing Europe-wide patent litigation strategies for its clients. 

The firm will operate in Ireland as Powell Gilbert (Europe) LLP, with each of its 14 partners admitted to practise in Ireland; lawyers authorised to practise in Ireland will be able to represent clients in the UPC.

Firm founding partner, Penny Gilbert, said the new office represented “the logical next step” in the firm’s strategy to partner with patent litigators across Europe to advise clients in complex international litigation. 

“It enables us to combine our patent litigation and European co-ordination expertise, technical strength and depth of knowledge with the support of local counsel to create the optimal teams for our clients’ European litigation strategies, both within the UPC and across non-UPC countries,” she said. 

After decades in the making the UPC officially opened its doors on 1 June, creating a single patent jurisdiction across a significant portion of the European market. Seventeen EU member states are initially participating, with a further seven countries still to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement, including the Republic of Ireland, which has confirmed its intention to participate in the UPC and will hold a referendum to ratify the UPC Agreement later this year or in 2024. 

Powell Gilbert partner, Alex Wilson, added: “We are looking forward to handling UPC litigation from our Dublin office. This comes after years of our active involvement in the development of the system - inputting into the rules of the court and advocates’ code of conduct and the training of judges through EPLAW.”

The firm said it would continue to work closely with its network of European IP litigators “to build the best teams to implement bespoke UPC strategies, bearing in mind the potential to litigate across the various national, regional and central divisions of the UPC.”

Powell Gilbert was involved in a number of the 19 cases that were filed on the first day the UPC was in operation, including the first two cases filed in the Nordic-Baltic regional division, the first case filed in the Milan local division and cases in the German local divisions. 

News of the firm’s Dublin launch coincides with rival IP firm Bristows announcing plans to open its second international office in Dublin to support its UPC work. The firm opened an office in Brussels in 2017 in response to Brexit. 


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