With entry into force of the Protocol on Provisional Applicability of the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court (UPC) on 19 January 2022, the Unified Patent Court was officially launched as new international organization. The preparatory acts could thus start and have been running at full speed since then.
On 22 February 2022, the Administrative Committee of the Unified Patent Court was swiftly established as a body to ensure the effective implementation and functioning of the UPC. The Administrative Committee is composed of one representative of each participating member state.
At the same time, the Administrative Committee also appointed the members of the Advisory Committee (Chairman: Alexander Ramsay (SE), Vice-Chairman: Johannes Karcher (DE)). The Advisory Committee has the central role of assisting in the preparation and recruitment of the long-awaited appointment of the judges of the Court. This recruitment process is now scheduled to start as early as the end of March 2022.
Furthermore, the Administrative Committee has already adopted relevant secondary legislation, including the Service and Staff Regulations, as well as the related Financial Regulation.
Regarding the power of representation before the Unified Patent Court, the rules on the “European Patent Litigation Certificate” (EPCL) have now been adopted. This should be of particular interest to patent attorneys seeking admission as representatives before the EPC.
At national level, following the Administrative Committee meeting, several Member States (AT, BE, DK, FI, FR, DE, IT, NL, SI, SE and PT) also announced that local or regional chambers will now be established. In Germany, these will be the four local chambers in Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Mannheim and Munich.
In the coming months, the further actions of the preparatory bodies and the speed of the preparatory actions will be followed with interest. In particular, we will have to wait and see whether final drafts, for example on fees and costs, will still be subject to adjustments.
Eisenführ Speiser will keep you informed!