New judges for the new European Patent Courts

The Unified Patent Court recently appointed a total of 85 judges (34 legally qualified judges and 51 technically qualified judges) to take up their duties as of the entry into force of the UPC Agreement. Being composed by judges from all the Contracting States and by a Court of First Instance and a Court of Appeal, the Court will be led by Mr Klaus Grabinski (DE), as President of the Court of Appeal, and Ms Florence Butin (FR), as President of the Court of First Instance. The Court of First Instance has a decentralised structure with local or regional divisions in the Contracting States and for certain cases a central division in Paris with a section in Munich.
The Unified Patent Court had been established according to Agreement on Unified Patent Court between 17 EU member States, then accessed by other 7 published in the EU Official Journal on 20 June 2013 (2013/C 175/01). It will offer a uniform, specialised, and efficient framework for patent litigation at EU level since 2023, April 1st.

The Court will have exclusive jurisdiction in respect of European patents with unitary effect registered under the regulations (EU) No. 1257 and 1260/2012 on the unitary patent protection (Unitary Patents) as well as in respect of pre-existing European patents, even if the latter will be subject to exceptions during a transitional period of seven years; that is, actions concerning pre-existing European patents may be brought before national courts or other competent national authorities before the end of that transitional period. Litigations on infringement and validity of patents, among others, will be ruled by the Unified Patent Court. However, the new European patent framework provides the interested parties of ADR services thanks to the establishment of the Patent Mediation and Arbitration Centre based in Lisbon and Ljubljana.