Luxembourg has been reported to have ratified the UPC Agreement (APCA) although it has not yet lodged the instrument of ratification as far as the Commission's ratification index currently shows. Once formally ratified this will be the 7th ratification, leaving only 6 more to achieve the required 13 for the UPC Agreement and hence the UPC to come into effect (see more on this and the other ratifications here). Luxembourg has said that it will not have a local division however as there are insufficient patent cases annually. Instead cases that would otherwise have been heard in Luxembourg will go direct to the Central Division.
At the same time the European Software Market Association (ESOMA - which opposes software patenting) and others have asked the Belgian Constitutional Court to consider the constitutionality of the Belgian Government's ratification of the UPCA – see their webpage here. ESOMA has concerns about the increased cost and centralisation of control over decision on software patents to the UPC without further rights of appeal to any other body or the CJEU. Objections are based on the fact that the Belgian Constitution bans discrimination on the grounds of language and that the Dutch-speaking population of Belgium will have to operate within the UPC in English, French or German. The UPC Rules have attempted to allow for this (under Rule 14.2(b)) but, notwithstanding this, ESOMA have made their application.
17th draft UPC Rules R. 14.2(b) concludes as follows: "… Where a designation by a Contracting Member State having several official regional languages so indicates, proceedings shall be conducted in the official language of the region in which the defendant has his domicile or principal place of business. Where there are two or more such defendants whose domicile or principle place of business has different regional languages, the claimant may choose the language from the regional languages in question." In order to fall within this Rule, the Belgians will need a local UPC court or to be part of a regional court. Belgium has already decalred that it intends to have a local division of its own. For more on the UPC court structure and participating states' intentions in relation to local or regional courts see our UPC pages on UPC Structure here.