Is the UPC evolving into an English-language court?

02.04.2024

Since November 2023, companies have filed more UPC actions in English than in German. German remains the dominant language of proceedings (47% as of the last update by the UPC on 29 March 2024), which is perhaps unsurprising given the popularity of the German Local Divisions for infringement proceedings. However, as reported in our previous article covering UPC statistics here, the number of cases adopting English as the language of the proceedings is on the rise. English was the language of proceedings in 45% of cases as of the last update by the UPC. Further updates are covered in previous episodes of our podcast, You, Me & the UPC.

It is possible that many of the early cases filed in German Local Divisions were prepared in German because, at the time of preparation, English was not yet an officially designated language of these divisions (the German Local Divisions did not confirm that English language proceedings would be acceptable until the UPC start date). This has since changed, and even in German Local Divisions we are seeing an increase in English language cases.  All local divisions have now designated English as an official language for proceedings, and in the Nordic-Baltic Regional Division, English is the only language.

This growth in English language proceedings also reflects a number of requests to change the language of proceedings to English under Article 49(5) of the UPC Agreement (UPCA).

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Eden Winlow

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