The Administrative Committee of the Unified Patent Court has been inaugurated. It will replace the UPC Preparatory Committee, which has so far been in charge of preparations for the new court. An Advisory Committee has been appointed as well, which will interview candidate judges, a process which is expected to start late March.
The inaugural meeting was held yesterday, 22 February 2022, in Luxembourg, at the seat of the Court of Appeal and the Registry. Alexander Ramsay, until now chairman of the Preparatory Committee, was chosen by member states as chair of the Advisory Committee and Johannes Karcher as deputy-chairman.
According to an announcement on the UPC’s website, the inaugural “meeting took place shortly after the entry into force of the Protocol on Provisional Application (PAP) of the UPC Agreement on 19 January 2022, which marked the birth of the Unified Patent Court as an international organisation. The meeting was held in a hybrid format, with a solid onsite and remote participation by attendants from all Contracting Member States and a number of observer Member States.
Besides adopting the Committee’s Rules of Procedure, hence setting its legal framework, the Administrative Committee also adopted important instruments of the Court’s secondary legislation, such as the Rules on the European Patent Litigation Certificate and other appropriate qualifications, the Court’s Service and Staff Regulations, as well as its Financial Regulations.
The Committee also appointed the members of the Advisory Committee, who will have the central task of interviewing candidate judges for the Court. The interviewing process is expected to start at the end of the month of March 2022, in order to allow the Administrative Committee to appoint, later this year, the judges to form panels at the different divisions of the Court.
At yesterday’s meeting, a number of Member States officially confirmed their intention of setting up a local or regional division of the UPC, in particular: AT, BE, DK, FI, FR, DE (4 local divisions), IT, NL, SI, SE (regional Nordic-Baltic division) and PT.”