Unified Patent Court
A single patent court for Member States of the European Union
The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is a court common to the Contracting Member States and thus part of their judicial system. It has exclusive competence in respect of European patents, European patent applications, European patents with unitary effect, as well as Supplementary protection certificates (SPCs). The exclusive competence is however subject to exceptions during the transitional period.
The UPC consists of a Court of First Instance, a Court of Appeal and a Registry. The Court of First Instance has a central division, as well as local and regional divisions. The central division is seated in Paris, with a section in Munich.
Every Contracting Member State may host a local division or share together with one or more other Contracting Member States a regional division of the Court of First Instance. The Contracting Member States designated the seats of such local and regional divisions (https://www.unified-patent-court.org/en/court/locations). The Court of Appeal has its seat in Luxembourg. The Registry is set up at the seat of the Court of Appeal.
In addition, a patent mediation and arbitration center with seats in Ljubljana and Lisbon and a training framework for judges and staff of the UPC with facilities in Budapest shall be established.
Upon a public vacancy notice, candidates can apply directly to the UPC. After an initial screening of the applications received from the candidates and interviews with preselected candidates following the initial screening, the Advisory Committee of the UPC establishes a list of the most suitable candidates to be appointed as judges of the Court. On the basis of that list, the Administrative Committee of the UPC (https://www.unified-patent-court.org/en/organisation/administrative-committee) shall appoint the judges of the Court acting by common accord. A list of the first appointed judges is available on the website of the court (See News post). Future vacant positions for judges of the UPC will be published on the UPC website and on its social media accounts.
The Advisory Committee consists of patent judges and practitioners in patent law and patent litigation with the highest recognized competence. The Administrative Committee is composed of one representative of each Contracting Member State. Some Contracting Member States have also nominated alternate members.
There are legally qualified judges and technically qualified judges. The judges must be nationals of a Contracting Member State, ensure the highest standards of competence, have proven experience in the field of patent litigation and good command of at least one official language of the European Patent Office (EPO).
Legally qualified judges shall possess the qualifications required for appointment to judicial offices in a Contracting Member State. Technically qualified judges shall have a university degree and proven expertise in a field of technology as well as proven knowledge of civil law and procedure relevant to patent litigation. Any panel of the UPC shall have a multinational composition.