26 March 2012

Will Unified Patent Court be Trifucated?

In this article of 22 March 2012 Partners of London based law firm Bristows report on a new compromise approach by the Danish EU Presidency to resolve the current deadlock in the question as to where the important  Central Division of the future EU Unified Patent Court should be located (see earlier postings here, here, or here). Currently, the most promising candidates to host the Central Division are Paris, London and Munich:  

Intriguingly, the Danes have floated a possible sharing compromise, that is to say that there could be three Central Divisions, or perhaps more accurately, a co-located Central Division
Unfortunately, the article does not cite any source for this interesting information. So if anybody happens to know more about it, please let me know.

The article goes on the speculate on possible case allocation schemes of such a trifucated Central Division:
For example, would each branch of the Central Division be able to hear all revocation cases, and hence operate in all three languages? Or would the London branch deal with revocation cases for English language cases, Paris with French ones, and Munich with German ones? And if not, how would the Registry, where all cases must be begun (apparently promised to Luxembourg), distribute business? Would the parties have a say? Would it be done by chance with cases going to each branch of the Central Division on a Buggins' turn basis? Would we see a German language patent being litigated between two German companies in German, in Paris or London because the German division hearing infringement had decided to bifurcate its case and it was not Munich's turn to be allocated a validity case? 
What appears clear is that even if due to the French Presidential Elections official steps are highly unlikely until the 30 May Competitiveness Council meeting , back-room negotionations and lobbying of stakeholders will continue unabated.

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