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Breaking: UPC agrees initial central division split


Paris and Munich will share London’s lot of UPC central division cases when the court opens on June 1, but there is still no news on Milan

Cases before the Unified Patent Court’s central division will be split between Paris and Munich when the court first opens on June 1, it was announced today, May 16.

The UPC administrative committee has yet to make a final decision on whether Milan will eventually host the third central division seat that was originally assigned to London.

The UK withdrew from the UPC project in 2020, leaving the question of which country would be assigned the third central seat.

Milan has since been confirmed as the only contender, but German, French, and Italian officials are yet to agree on how to divide cases.

Under the UPC Agreement, disputes filed at the central division would have been split between the different countries based on the scope of the patent in question.

Disputes over patents concerning human necessities, chemistry, and metallurgy would have been heard in London.

According to today’s announcement, the Presidium of the UPC, a group of senior judges and the court’s registrar, agreed on May 8 to divide those cases between Paris and Munich initially.

From June 1, disputes falling under human necessities will be heard in Paris while chemistry and metallurgy matters will be assigned to Munich.

Italian politicians have lobbied for a Milan central division to hear all of those disputes. The path looked clear when the Netherlands withdrew its candidacy earlier this year.

But negotiations have since hit a snag.

In February, it emerged that French officials wanted the Paris division to hear any cases involving pharmaceutical patents for which a supplementary protection certificate (SPC) is in effect.

That solution would leave the Milan division with a much less significant share of the caseload than Italian lawyers had originally hoped for.

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