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UPC Structure – local, regional and central divisions

16 December 2016 | Europe
Legal Briefings

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The UPC will have a Court of First Instance (divided into local, regional and central divisions) and a Court of Appeal (Luxembourg). Cases will commence in any one of these divisions according to the subject matter and the prescribed division set out in the UPCA and the UPC Rules. The main seat of the central division will be Paris with further seats in Munich and London.

The work of the central division will be divided according to the subject matter of the patent in dispute based on IPC classifications: London/Milan will deal with patents falling into International Patent Classification of WIPO sections (A) Human necessities (including pharmaceuticals but also foodstuffs, tobacco, clothes, furniture, footwear, some agriculture applications and sports and amusements and much more - see here) and (C) Chemistry (which includes genetic engineering) and Metallurgy - see here. Munich will hear cases involving patents in IPC class F, concerning mechanical engineering. All other patent classifications will fall to be heard before the Paris central division.

Latest on Local and Regional divisions

  • The London local division and central division of the UPC will be located in the Aldgate Tower in the east of London, close to our offices
  • Single local divisions are expected in Austria, Belgium, Demark, England & Wales, France, Italy, Ireland and The Netherlands
  • 4 local divisions are planned in Germany (Düsseldorf, Mannheim, Munich and Hamburg)
  • Scotland's request for its own local division had been supported by the UK government
  • Portugal - would prefer to participate in regional divisions to share costs
  • Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Romania and Slovenia are planning a regional division
  • Malta and Luxembourg - plan to go direct to the central division for any patent infringement actions
  • Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will have a Nordic-Baltic regional division of the Unified Patent Court which would be located in Stockholm and the language of the proceedings would be English
  • It is thought that Finland is likely to set up its own local division allowing Finnish as a designated language alongside English

Denmark plans to use Danish and English as languages of the proceedings in its local division. The Belgian local division will operate in Dutch, English, French and German.

Mediation, arbitration and training: a patent mediation and arbitration centre with seats in Ljubljana and Lisbon has been established.

A training facility for judges has also been established in Budapest.

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