Reassignment of London’s central division must follow UPCA rules, says Italian AIPPI
A position paper of the Italian group of AIPPI explains why Germany’s suggestion, that the duties of London’s central division of the Unified Patent Court Agreement should be shared among Paris and Munich if the United Kingdom leaves the UPCA, is incompatible with the UPCA as it stands.
The Italian group of AIPPI (International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property) published a position paper on 11 June 2020 concerning the future of the London-based central division of the Unified Patent Court (UPC).
The position paper follows a statement of the German Minister of Justice of 10 June 2020 suggesting that should the United Kingdom (UK) terminate its membership in the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA), the duties of London’s Central division of the UPC should be shared among the two Central divisions of Munich and Paris.
The position paper of the Italian group of AIPPI essentially points out that in the event of the UK’s exit from the UPCA:
- the UK’s exit will make it necessary to amend the UPCA (which requires the agreement of all UPCA member states);
- according to the prevalent interpretation of Article 89 UPCA, the London Central division must be assigned to the country with the highest number of European patents, bar the UK and after Germany and France, in force in 2012;
- Italy is the country with the highest number of European patents, bar the UK and after Germany and France, in force in 2012, as confirmed by an official report of the European Parliament of March 2020;
- the solution suggested by the German Minister of Justice is not in line with the UPCA’s provisions and would amount to an unauthorised amendment of UPCA provisions.
The paper further indicates Milan, which already hosts a Local division of the UPC, as the Italian city best suited to host the Central division.
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