It has been agreed upon for several weeks and was already confirmed at the meeting of the Administrative Committee of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) on June 2, 2023. Now, it has also “officially” found its way into the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA):
The Central Division of the UPC will have another section in Milan, in addition to its seat in Paris and the section in Munich, as of June 27, 2024.
Background: After the United Kingdom first left the EU and consequently also withdrew its ratification instrument of the UPCA on July 20, 2020, the further originally planned section of the Central Division in London, named in Art. 7 (2) UPCA, was omitted. As a further consequence, the technical responsibilities of the London section expressly provided for in Annex II of the UPCA had to be temporarily divided between Paris and Munich with the consequence that, since June 1, 2023, until a final decision on a new section of the Central Division, Paris is additionally responsible for patents in IPC section (A) and Munich is additionally responsible for patents in IPC section (C). Italy had already submitted its candidature for a new section of the Central Division in Milan in September 2020.
In the first revision of the UPCA, the Administrative Committee of the UPC, based on Art. 87 (2) UPCA, decided in its meeting on June 26, 2023 to amend Art. 7 (2) UPCA and Annex II of the UPCA as follows:
So, in the future, the distribution of cases within the Central Division will be as follows:
- The jurisdiction of the future Milan section of the Central Division will cover – somewhat reduced compared to London – patents in IPC section (A).
- In addition to cases related to IPC section (F), the Munich section is permanently assigned responsibility for patents in IPC section (C).
- For supplementary protection certificates of classes (A) and (C), a new, separate jurisdiction will be established in Paris which will continue to be responsible for patents relating to all other IPC classes.
However, the above-mentioned decision and the associated amendments to the UPCA will only become effective after a period of 12 months. According to Art. 87 (3) UPCA, the contracting member states can declare within that period that they do not wish to be bound by this decision. However, the necessary but also time-consuming preparations for the establishment of the new section of the Central Division in Milan are sensibly already initiated now in order to ensure a smooth start of work in Milan with the expected entry into force of the decision at the end of June 2024.