Preparatory Committee Publishes 17th Draft Rules of Procedure
October 31, 2014

On October 31, 2014, the Preparatory Committee of Europe’s Unified Patent Court (UPC) published the 17th Draft Rules of Procedure, with a digest that highlights the latest changes. The changes are incremental and largely technical, with added clarification regarding languages that will be permitted in the new court. An oral hearing is scheduled to be held November 26, 2014, by invitation only. Details can be found here. In general, the UPC continues to progress toward implementation. A new prototype case management website was recently launched for testing. Judges have been approved and preparations are being made for training. We all await the preliminary opening of the CJEU on the Spanish challenge, due before the end of 2014. (See Here)

UPC IT e-Filing System
October 7, 2014

A prototype e-filing and case management system, based on UPC draft Rules of Procedure 13-28, is available online for testing. Testers can supply feedback until the end of November 2014. 

EU Unified Patent Court Update
October 1, 2014

As of October 1, 2014, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France and Sweden have all fully ratified the Agreement. Many other EU countries are planning to establish a division. Ratification appears to be a mere formality, at this point. Aside from the Spanish Challenge (see below), the primary steps to going live appear to be logistical, including the IT structure and funding allocations and cost determinations. We expect more details on these issues soon.

The latest news from the Preparatory Committee is that the new system will come on line “no sooner than late 2015” – roughly a year from now.