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patent-5_481_318sharAccording to a recent press release of the Council of the European Union, the agreement to establish a Unified Patent Court has now been signed.

The new court will avoid the occurrence of multiple court cases with regard to the same patent in different member states. This will also prevent contradictory court rulings on the same issues. It will also reduce costs of patent litigation.

All the necessary decisions (designation of committees, budget, appointment of judges and president, recruitment of staff, facilities, etc.) should be adopted in a timely manner so as to enable the first registration of a European patent title with unitary effect in spring 2014.

  • The Central Division of the Court of First Instance will be in Paris (France). Given the highly specialised nature of patent litigation and the need to maintain high quality standards, thematic clusters will be created in two sections of the Central Division, one in London (chemistry, including pharmaceuticals, classification C, human necessities, classification A), the other in Munich (mechanical engineering, classification F);
  • the Court of Appeal with the Registry will be in Luxembourg;
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the Patent Mediation and Arbitration Centre will have two seats: in Lisbon (Portugal) and Ljubljana (Slovenia);
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the training facilities for judges will be in Budapest (Hungary).

The UPC is the third element of the “patent package”. The two regulations establishing enhanced cooperation for unitary patent protection and its translation arrangements were adopted on 17 December 2012 (see that press release here).