17 May 2023

Unified Patent Court confirms allocation of cases in IPC sections A and C between Paris and Munich

As the Unified Patent Court (UPC) launch date approaches, the question on everyone’s mind regarding the placement of the third branch of the central division has finally been answered. Following Brexit and the UK’s subsequent withdrawal of its ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court, the UPC had to find a new location to host the central division’s third branch, which had originally been allocated to London.

After years of speculation and only two weeks before the official launch, the UPC has finally provided an update, although maybe not one that was widely anticipated. During a meeting on 8 May 2023, the Presidium of the UPC decided that any actions relating to patents in IPC section A (Human Necessities) will be assigned to the seat in Paris, and those relating to patents in IPC section C (Chemistry) will be assigned to the Munich branch.

Despite previous reports of Milan being all but confirmed as the third location, it has also been rumoured that the Italian, German and French governments are yet to agree on a division of technical classes between the three branches of the court. Given the Presidium’s characterisation of the reallocation of competencies to Paris and Munich as being “provisional”, it seems that negotiations in this respect may still be ongoing even as time runs out on the sunrise period.

As we anticipate the opening of the UPC’s doors on 1 June 2023, we will report on any updates that are released and will continue to support our clients and contacts on their UPC journey.