The Legal Group of the Preparatory Committee has completed its examination of the 16th draft of the UPC Rules of Procedure – which the Expert Group had finished at the end of January 2014 – presenting the resulting 17th draft at the end of October. In accordance with the Roadmap of the Preparatory Committee and as announced in the note published on this website on 6 March 2014 an oral hearing will be held on the 17th draft of the Rules of Procedure. This hearing will take place on 26 November 2014 at the Academy of European Law in Trier from 9am to 6pm.
With regard to the great interest that users take in the Rules of Procedure and the limitations inherent to a hearing, the participation in the event is not possible on a first come first serve basis. Instead attendance is by invitation only ensuring that observations made represent a wide spectrum of users. For this purpose organizations which have already shown an interest in the UPC Rule of Procedure and have participated in the written consultation have been selected. More than 70 organizations have been invited to the hearing as well as a group of experienced patent judges. To allow a wider circle of interested users to follow the hearing and for the sake of maximum transparency a webcast of the event is planned to be accessed on the Academy of European Law website www.era.int.
The 17th draft of the Rules of Procedure contains in mark-up mode the amendments by the Expert Group as a result of the written consultation in red (16th draft) and those made by the Legal Group in blue. As the work is progressing towards the preparation of the final draft, the oral hearing will exclusively concentrate on these changes.
Like the changes of the Expert Group had been accompanied by a digest published on 6 March 2014, the Legal Group amendments compared to the 16th draft are, for sake of clarity, shown in a separate table which also contains explanatory notes to these changes.