The 17th Draft Rules of Procedure for the Unified Patent Court have been published on 3 November on the website of the Unified Patent Court.

A hearing on the new Draft is planned for 26 November 2014 at the European Law Academy (ERA) in Trier. The meeting will be open to some 200 experts from law firms, attorneys’ associations, companies and others that were involved in earlier written consultations on the Draft Rules. According to the Preparatory Committee ‘more than 70 organizations have been invited […] as well as a group of experienced patent judges’.

Other users can follow a webcast of the event, from 9:00 to 18:00, on the website of the European Law Academy.

The Draft contains (in red) the amendments by the Expert Group, which were included as a result of the written consultation and (in blue) those made by the Legal Group (current 17th Draft). One of the most important changes concerns bifurcation. A provision in the 14th Draft Rules, which was deleted in the 15th, has been reinstated in a modified form. It requires the Central Division to hear referred bifurcated validity proceedings before the infringement hearing in the local or regional division.

The Preparatory Committee expects to finish the final text of the Rules of Procedure by April 2015.

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