The Preparatory Committee of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) has announced that a prototype of the e-filing/case management system is available for potential users to test online.
You can do so by clicking on this link http://prototype.unified-patent-court.org and registering.
At the moment, it is only possible to lodge a dummy statement of claim pursuant to rules 13 to 17 of the draft UPC Rules of Procedure. It is hoped that it will soon be possible to lodge a dummy preliminary objection, and proceed to a decision thereon.
UPC e-filing system trials
D Young & Co will be trialling the system and we will report back on our thoughts.
At first blush, while the process on its face looks like a fairly simple electronic form filling exercise, including boxes in which the claimant can set out its claim (in up to 200 characters only apparently), the prototype layout implies adding possibly multiple further documents "in support". These would (apparently separately) set out the claim in more detail, explain why the acts complained of are infringements, state alleged facts relied on and provide the evidence to support them. This is not quite what at least we had envisaged. We had imagined the statement of claim to be a single written document, which would be lodged electronically, setting out the details of the claim and explaining it in detail, with supporting documents and evidence being annexed. The remainder of the filing system would be to set out claimant details, defendant details etc. The prototype has the latter but does not apparently envisage the former, although it is not precluded. As it stands therefore, one could see this system leading to multiple different approaches to how claims will be set out, which is perhaps not desirable in a uniform system.