The Unified Patent Court (UPC)’s webpage Language of Proceedings has been updated to show Italy’s local UPC division in Milan is offering English as a language option for proceedings. This follows the updates last week showing that France’s local division and Germany’s four local divisions are offering English. Therefore all the local divisions are now offering English in addition to their local official language(s), and the regional division (Sweden, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia) will hear proceedings only in English. In a local/regional division the choice of language is initially at least determined by the claimant from the languages offered by that division. A footnote on the webpage indicates that if English is chosen for proceedings in a local division in Belgium, France, Italy or Germany, the judge-rapporteur may, in the interest of the panel, order that an official language may be used in oral proceedings and/or decisions and orders (with a certified translation into English).
In certain circumstances, regardless of the languages offered by a division, the language of the patent may be used, for example: if the parties agree and the panel approves (and if no approval, parties may request transfer to the central division); or if decided by the President of the Court of First Instance if one party requested but the other(s) did not agree (the President having considered the circumstances and the parties’ positions – particularly the defendant’s position).
In the central division, the language of proceedings is the one in which the patent was granted, i.e. English, French or German.