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Unitary patent and UPC news round-up

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IMG_8533-1Here’s a selection of unitary patent and UPC flavoured news items that we’ve seen in the last few weeks:

Opt out fee

The regulations and agreements surrounding the unitary patent package have been picked over many times which has resulted in discussions about “hard coded bifurcation“, the Malta problem and just what the “exclusive competence” of the UPC means. To add to that list we now have the question: “Just what is the legal basis for the opt out fee?” 

This question has actually been raised in two different places, namely via Benedikt Migdal at Bristows (see here) and Dr Stjerna in his latest post on the unitary patent package (see here). The discussion seems to boil down to the fact that the opt out fee is only mentioned explicitly in the Rules of Procedure whereas the Unified Patent Court Agreement only talks about “notifying” the Registry of an opt out. An interesting question has been raised here and IPcopy will be looking forward to seeing how it plays out.


The EPO’s blog post on the recent Premier Cercle annual conference on the unitary patent and UPC seemed to say a lot without saying much at all. But it did at least end with confirmation that Italy has decided to request accession to the unitary patent package. The EPO points out that this will bring the total number of countries to 26 though of course Poland has decided to not to take things forward and so effectively the total number of countries taking an active part would be 25 if Italy joined.


Finland is the first Nordic country to set up a separate court to deal solely with IP matters. It also seems (see final paragraph of this story) that this court is also being earmarked as a local division of the UPC.

Reference Documents

Anyone looking for a handy trilingual booklet comprising the Unitary Patent Regulations, Unified Patent Court Agreement, Draft 17 of the Rules of Procedure (31 October 2014) and the full transcript of the Trier public hearing (26 November 2014)? Well your search is over as the UPC document resource from Véron & Associés has been updated with just the thing you’re looking for! See here for the booklet. The transcript of the Tier public hearing is also available separately here.

18th Draft of Rules of Procedure of the Unified Patent Court

The above trilingual booklet will probably need updating soon enough though as the 18th version of the Rules of Procure has appeared on the Bristows website (see here). This is unfortunately not a redlined copy so the changes aren’t immediately apparent.

UK’s UPC Taskforce Update

The latest from the UK’s taskforce promises to be the last until September.

UPC Consultation on the Rules on Court Fees – The consultation on court fees remains open for a few more days until the 31st July (see here).

Preparatory Committee – the Prep Comm met on 10th July and discussed the 18th version of the Rules of Procedure (see above for copy). It is expected the rules will be agreed in October (next meeting is scheduled for 13 October).

The Provisional Application timetable was discussed and it appears that this will be progressed in September.

The EPLC is still to be agreed but will be published on the UPC website once it is fixed.


The addressing of the opt-out process is to be a priority within the case management system and a meeting has been scheduled with the EPO technical team to discuss the technical process of the opt out. Alongside this investigations are underway to provide an interim payment provider until the court has its legal entity and a functional finance system. To assist with this a specialist financial solutions architect has joined the IT team for three months.

A number of user workshops over the autumn and across Europe have been confirmed. The workshops are aimed at refining requirements and testing the CMS.

To sign up for the London user workshop event which aims to refine the requirements and test the CMS, follow the link below:


Mark Richardson 28 July 2015




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