The inaugural meeting of the Unified Patent Court’s Administrative Committee (the Committee) took place on 22 February. Representatives from all Contracting Member States were present. It represents the start of the next phase in the commencement of the UPC, and allowed for the completion of some of the necessary formalities required.
Alexander Ramsay, who was previously chairman of the UPC Preparatory Committee, was elected as Chair of the Committee. The Committee now replaces the UPC Preparatory Committee, which was responsible for overseeing the workstreams associated with establishment of the UPC.
The Committee is one of the three governing bodies of the UPC, together with the Advisory Committee and the Budget Committee.
Functions of the Committee include: (i) appointment of judges; (ii) setting remuneration levels of the President of the Court of Appeal, the President of the Court of First Instance, the judges, the Registrar, the Deputy-Registrar and staff; and (iii) fixing the UPC fees.
Members of the Advisory Committee were appointed, who will be responsible for the task of conducting candidate judge interviews to assist the Committee in the appointment of judges. Those interviews are due to start at the end of March 2022. Other responsibilities of the Advisory Committee include making proposals on the guidelines for the training framework for judges and delivering opinions to the Committee concerning UPC representatives’ qualification requirements.
Local and regional divisions of the UPC
The following member states confirmed their intention of setting up a local or regional division of the UPC: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany (four local divisions), Italy, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden (regional Nordic-Baltic division) and Portugal, which brings the total number to 11 across the EU. Others may decide to join later.
For completeness, other courts of first instance, which are the central divisions, are in Munich and Paris.
Instruments of secondary legislation adopted
These include Rules on the European Patent Litigation Certificate and other appropriate qualifications, the UPC’s Service and Staff Regulations and the UPC’s Financial Regulations.
The original UPC announcement can be found here.
About the author(s)
Alex has significant experience in patent litigation and licensing matters in the telecommunications, engineering and tech fields. Much of his experience has been multi-jurisdictional in nature.
Seiko Hidaka is a patent litigator with an international outlook, known for horizon scanning and thought leadership.