On 24 January 2024, Italy and the Unified Patent Court signed an agreement to formalise their cooperation on bringing the third central division of the court to Milan, which already hosts a local division. Munich and Paris host the he other two central divisions.
The agreement was signed for Italy by the director general for Europe of the ministry of foreign affairs Nicola Verola (as announced on the ministry’s website) and by Klaus Grabinski, president of the Court of Appeal, for the Unified Patent Court. The event was also attended by representatives of the Italian ministries of justice, of enterprises and of the economy, as well as by a delegation of Italian Unified Patent Court judges.
The agreement signed last week is part of the preparations that have been ongoing since the Unified Patent Court’s decision of 26 June 2023 to proceed with the establishment in Milan of a central division. This decision was only taken after the official opening of the Unified Patent Court on 1 June 2023, because when the United Kingdom left the European Union a new seat had to be found for the court’s central division that had been originally assigned to London, and very long negotiations were necessary to reach an agreement among Unified Patent Court participant states.
While the decision on where to relocate the new seat of the formerly British central division was still pending, the Unified Patent Court established that cases before the court that would have fallen within the competence of London would be temporarily allocated to Paris and Munich.
According to schedule, the Milanese central division is to open in June 2024; the areas of technology within its competence will initially be fewer than those originally assigned to the London central division, pursuant to a temporary decision previously issued by the Unified Patent Court (read more here).
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