The Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management, Université Libre de Bruxelles, and the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid are pleased to announce the SEEK workshop "Patent Litigation in Europe – A Story of War and Settlement". The international workshop is located within the framework of the research programme "Strengthening Efficiency and Competitiveness in the European Knowledge Economies" (SEEK). During the workshop we will present the results of an analysis of patent-related court cases at national courts in the UK, Germany, France, and the Netherlands. We will compare bifurcated systems to systems, where validity and infringement cases are heard before the same court. The implications for predictability, cost figures, and strategic results relevant to the market are one of the core topics for discussion in order to derive political implications for the further development of the patent enforcement system in Europe.

Patent systems in Europe are currently in a transition period, and reform steps are heavily disputed by policy-makers, practitioners, academics, and stakeholders. Despite the introduction of a common registered patent in March 2011 and the decision to create the Unified Patent Court reached in June 2012, the detailed structure of the European Enforcement System has not yet been finalised. The European Council decided to establish the Court’s Central Division in Paris but to set up specialised clusters in Munich and in London. This solution is still a controversial matter among EU Member States.

The aim of the workshop is to discuss the effectiveness and efficiency of the current and potential future patent litigation system in the EU with politicians, representatives from industry and jurisdiction.

Key Questions are:

  • What is the empirical incidence of patent litigation before civil courts in Europe?
  • What are the patterns of outcome at different courts and in different countries?
  • Is there a best practice in Europe?
  • What are the implications of the shift from a fragmented litigation system to a unified European patent court?


Announcement (as PDF, 198 KB)


Preliminary Programme (as PDF, 72 KB)


The workshop starts on November 22, 2012 at 9:30 am and closes after lunch. Please see the detailed programme for additional information.

After lunch all workshop participants are invited to the speech of Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Wolfgang Franz, president of ZEW and chairman of the German Council of Economic Experts, with the title "Perspectives for Economic Policy: The New Annual Report 2012/13 of the German Council of Economic Experts." This presentation will be given in German, a simultaneous translation in English will be provided.


Please register by sending an e-mail to no later than November 12, 2012.

Organising Committee

  • Katrin Cremers (ZEW)
  • Christian Helmers (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
  • Nicholas van Zeebroeck (Solvay Brussels School)

To contact the Organising Committee, send an e-mail to



Event Location

Representation of the State of Baden-Württemberg to the European Union in Brussels