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The Unified Patent Court (UPC) will be a court common to seventeen EU Member States, in which the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA) will be in force.
The UPCA can be ratified by seven further EU Member States which have already signed it. Any of the remaining EU Member States could still accede to the Agreement at any time. Cyprus is currently not one of those states but it has the option to enter this system, and it is likely to do so, prior to activation.
The UPC will offer a uniform, specialised, and efficient framework for patent litigation at a European level. It will hear both infringement and revocation actions. The Court will have exclusive jurisdiction with regards to European patents, with a unitary effect registered under regulations (EU) No 1257 and 1260 / 2012 on the unitary patent protection (Unitary Patents) as well as in respect of ”classic” European patents. The exclusive jurisdiction regarding “classic” European patents is, however, subject to exceptions during a transitional period of seven years. During this period, actions concerning “classic” European patents may still be brought before national courts or other competent national authorities. Furthermore, “classic” European patents can be opted out from the UPC’s jurisdiction.
The Court will comprise a Court of First Instance and a Court of Appeal. Additionally, a Patent Mediation and Arbitration Centre is foreseen to foster amicable settlements.
The body of judges is comprised of legally qualified judges and technically qualified judges with great expertise in patent litigation.
Court of First Instance
The Court of First Instance will have a decentralised structure with local or regional divisions in the Member States, and for certain cases, a central division in Paris with a section in Munich. You can read more about the Court’s locations here.
The Court of First Instance will hear various types of actions, which are listed in Article 32 of the UPCA.
Court of Appeal
The Court of Appeal will have its seat in Luxembourg and it will decide on appeals against decisions of the Court of First Instance.
The President of the Court of Appeal is the legal representative of the UPC.
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