The Administrative Committee takes significant steps towards the setting up of the Unified Patent Court

On 8 July 2022, the Administrative Committee of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) held its second meeting, which took place largely onsite in Luxembourg with the participation of all Contracting Member States and observers. In addition to those observers already admitted in the context of the Administrative Committee’s inaugural meeting on 22 February 2022, a number of observer organisations have now also been admitted pursuant Article 5(7) of the Committee’s Rules of Procedure, namely: epi, EPLAW, EPLIT and BusinessEurope.

As a follow-up to the oral requests of the Contracting Member States during the Administrative Committee’s inaugural meeting, the Committee confirmed the setting-up of local and regional divisions of the Court of First Instance. These divisions will be located in Austria (Vienna), Belgium (Brussels), Demark (Copenhagen), Finland (Helsinki), France (Paris), Germany (Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Mannheim, Munich), Italy (Milan), the Netherlands (The Hague), Slovenia (Ljubljana) and Portugal (Lisbon). The regional Nordic-Baltic division will be mainly located in Sweden (Stockholm). As to the UPC’s Patent Mediation and Arbitration centre, the Committee adopted the Organisational Rules of this Centre, to be set up with seats in Ljubljana and Lisbon.

As to the legal framework of the Court, a major step was taken by the Committee towards ensuring the efficient functioning of the UPC by adopting the Court’s Rules of Procedure and its Table of Fees. Both will enter into force on 1 September 2022. In addition, in the framework of the operational activities of the UPC, the Committee adopted the UPC’s Rules on duty travel, which include incentives for low-carbon emission modes of transport.

From an HR perspective, the Committee also paved the way towards a future recruitment of staff and officials of the Court, by adopting its Medical and social security plan, the Pension scheme and the Internal tax of the UPC.

Last but not least, in accordance with Article 14 of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court, the Chair of the Advisory Committee presented to the Administrative Committee the recommended list of the most suitable candidates to be appointed as judges of the Unified Patent Court. This list is expected to be adopted any time soon before the summer break, following the conclusion of a written procedure.

Thanks to these key decisions taken by the Administrative Committee on 8 July 2022, the timing of the start of operations of the Court can reasonably be expected to occur in early 2023.

Please note that all non-confidential adopted documents will be made available this week on the Website of the Court. As to a consolidated version of the Rules of Procedure, following legal scrubbing, they will be published during the course of the summer, before their entry into force on 1 September 2022.