UPC-series: Structure of the UPC

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is an international court, which came into full force on 1 June 2023 and whose jurisdiction has been currently accepted by seventeen (17) EU Member States through the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA). The UPC serves the entire framework of patent litigation at a European level and its decisions have effect in all participating countries. The Court comprises of a Court of First Instance, a Court of Appeal, and a Registry. In addition, a Patent Mediation and Arbitration Centre. The Court is composed of judges from all over Europe with great expertise in patent litigation.

The Court of First Instance consists of a Central division in Paris and in Munich, as well as various local divisions and a regional division located all over Europe. As of June 2024, a Central division in Milan will also be operating. Each local or regional division composes of three legally qualified judges, and one technically qualified judge if needed and the Central division is composed by two legally qualified judges and one technically qualified judge. The competence of the First Instance Court is described in Article 32 of the UPCA.

The Court of Appeal has its seat in Luxembourg and decides on appeals against decisions of the Court of First Instance and on requests for rehearing of final decisions of the Court. Any panel of the Court sits in a multinational composition of three legally qualified judges and two technically qualified judges.

The UPC can appeal points of EU law regarding preliminary ruling on questions before the Court of Justice of the European Union.


Areas of Law

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