In July, the UPC Preparatory Committee released their first update since early April regarding the progress of the UPC. This included reports on a number of important matters.
Importantly, the Court’s Rules of Procedure and its Table of Fees have been adopted and will enter into force on 1 September 2022. A consolidated version of the Rules of Procedure, the first since March 2017, is expected to be available on the UPC website soon.
In addition, the locations of the local and regional divisions of the Court of First Instance have been confirmed. The local divisions will be 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). In addition, the UPC’s Patent Mediation and Arbitration centre will have seats in Ljubljana and Lisbon.
Recruitment of the UPC judges is also moving forwards, and a recommended list of the most suitable candidates has been presented.
With all this in mind, the UPC is now expected to open its doors in early 2023, meaning that the sunrise period for opting out European patents and applications from the jurisdiction of the UPC is likely to start in Q4 2022. Therefore, if you are a European patent owner, now is the time to be making decisions on whether or not to opt out the patents in your portfolio. Please do contact us via UPC@boult.com if you require any assistance regarding opt-outs.
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.