UPC rules of procedure - public consultation

June 27, 2013

The work to establish a single patent court covering 25 European countries moves ahead – draft rules of procedure are now being issued for public consultation

As everybody in the patent industry probably knows, 25 EU Member States have agreed to create a new European patent with unitary effect and to institute a patent court with jurisdiction for disputes relating to the new patent (the “Unified Patent Court”).

One important factor to make the Unified Patent Court successful – with high quality decisions and well organized and cost efficient proceedings – will be the rules governing the procedure before the Court (the “Rules of Procedure”).

The participating Member States recognized this and gave the preparation of the Rules of Procedure a high priority. A committee (the “Preparatory Committee”) was established to prepare a draft set of rules.

With the help of a drafting committee of expert judges and lawyers, and by technical consultations with professionals and industry bodies, the Preparatory Committee has in a short period of time produced a draft set of rules, comprising close to four hundred provisions.

The Preparatory Committee has just now issued a fifteenth version of the draft for public consultation. Stakeholders and other interested parties are invited to submit their comments. The consultation period will end on 1 October 2013.

When all comments have been reviewed, the European Commission shall be asked to advise whether the Rules of Procedure are consistent with European Union law. The ultimate goal is to have the Rules of Procedure ready well before the Unified Patent Court Agreement is finally ratified, which is believed to be sometime in early 2015.

Peter Kenamets
Attorney at Law, Partner

27 June 2013