The UPC will be a new court with a new set of procedures and rules that have been negotiated between the participating Member States. The Rules seek to coherently pull together the wide range of legal procedures available to patent litigants around Europe. This is quite a feat given the diﬀerences between common law and civil law traditions across Europe.
The UPC will consist of a Court of First Instance, with Central, Local and Regional divisions, as well as a Court of Appeal and a Registry. The Central Division will deal with revocation actions and declarations of non-infringement. The Local or Regional divisions will deal with infringement, including preliminary injunctions. There are also rules on how the various courts can deal with counterclaims, stays and transfers to another court.
The Central Division will be headquartered in Paris, with sections in London (pharmaceuticals, chemistry and medical devices) and Munich (mechanical engineering) with Paris dealing with electronic and software cases.
The UPC will also have a Patent Mediation and Arbitration Centre which will be located in Slovenia (Ljubljana) and Portugal (Lisbon). The Court of Appeal and Registry will be in Luxembourg.
In the UK both the UK Local division and the London section of the Central Division of the UPC will be in Aldgate Tower in East London. Other Local/Regional Divisions announced are shown below. Most Local and Regional divisions have indicated that English will be one of the possible languages for proceedings and proceedings before the Central Division will use language of the patent.
The success of the court will be highly dependent on the quality of its judges. The UPC Judicial panels will have a multinational and probably multi-lingual composition; there will be both legally qualiﬁed judges and technically qualiﬁed judges drawn from across all participating Member States. Now we know that the UK and UK judges will part of the UPC, the strength and attraction of the UPC as a competitive venue for European patent litigation is more certain.