The Unified Patent Court (UPC) has announced that, when it opens on 1 June, the cases that would, under art. 7(2) UPC Agreement, have been heard in the central division section in London will be dealt with provisionally in the central division seat in Paris and the central division section in Munich. When the UK withdrew its ratification of the UPC Agreement, the Preparatory Committee interpreted art. 7(2) with regard to the allocation of cases to a central division in London as having no effect and that the competence for these cases could be dealt with provisionally until a final decision was taken on the creation of another section of the central division. The Administrative Committee has not yet reached a final decision.
The UPC Agreement provides that the London central division has competence for actions related to patents in IPC section (A) Human necessities and IPC section (C) Chemistry, metallurgy. For information on the subject matter of those IPC sections, and also the subject matter in the IPC sections allocated to Paris and Munich central divisions, see here.
Since the UK’s withdrawal there have been discussions about Milan taking over the competencies of the London central division section but it has recently been reported that France and Germany have requested some of those competencies and no agreement has been reached. Now the provisional re-allocation of the London competencies to Paris and Munich is taking place, it appears more likely that the competencies subsequently allocated to Milan (if any) will be different to those originally allocated to London, and potentially restricted. Although there are views that the UPC Agreement would have to be amended if a new location were introduced, there have been views that it should in any case be amended after the UK’s withdrawal but the Preparatory Committee considered this was not necessary.