Fifth meeting of the Preparatory Committee 18 March 2014

The Preparatory Committee celebrated its one-year anniversary by arranging its fifth meeting. The meeting was held in the premises of the Swedish permanent representation in Brussels and a wide variety of topics were discussed.

After one year of preparatory work the Committee has deemed it appropriate to conduct a revision of its roadmap which was discussed at the meeting. Even if considerable progress has been logged it is apparent that some areas suffer delays. It is clear to the Committee that the ambitious target date of early 2015, decided at its first meeting, cannot be accomplished. The Committee stays completely focused on its task but at the same time cannot let self-imposed deadlines stand in the way of quality. At its fifth meeting it was agreed that the UPC will not be operational until the end of 2015 at the earliest. A new revised roadmap will be published at the website shortly.

Proposals were presented and a first discussion was held concerning e.g. the Rules on Court Fees and recoverable costs and the Rules on the European Patent Litigation Certificate. Even if some further work needs to be done before the foreseen public consultation can take place it is clear that the working groups have come up to speed and has delivered high quality proposals.

The inauguration of the training facilities of the UPC in Budapest didn’t pass unnoticed and was widely acknowledged as being a milestone in the preparatory work. The Committee discussed and decided on a proposal for a framework for the training of the candidate UPC judges that will enable the training to kick-start, hopefully already immediately after the summer break.

The next meeting of the Committee will be held in the end of June or in the beginning of July 2014.

Estonia, Latvia Lithuania and Sweden sign an historic deal

On the 4 March 2014 in the margins of the JHA Council Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden concluded an agreement on the creation of a regional Nordic-Baltic division of the Unified Patent Court.

The Nordic Baltic division will have its seat in Stockholm but allows for a flexible set-up when it comes to oral hearings. When it is justified, considering the nationalities of the parties, oral hearings will be held also in other parts of the region. The division will use only English as the language of proceedings.

The agreement is a milestone agreement being the first regional agreement between UPC member states.