During March we published a number of unitary patent (UP) and Unitary Patent Court (UPC) updates on our website. Here we summarise the latest news. For information and commentary as it is published, please visit our dedicated website page: www.dyoung.com/unitarypatent.

UPC start date revised

On 18 March, at its 5th meeting, the Preparatory Committee reviewed its road map and concluded that in particular, the ambitious UPC starting date of early 2015 is clearly no longer achievable and late 2015 is the very earliest the court might be operational. Realistically we believe this date is also ambitious.

Judges’ training centre opens

The Preparatory Committee has recently announced the opening of the training centre for UPC judges which, under the UPC Court Agreement will be in Budapest. We are still awaiting further news on how the Advisory Committee is doing in sifting through the huge number of expressions of interest from candidate judges.

16th draft Rules of Procedure

The Preparatory Committee made the 16th draft Rules of Procedure of the UPC available to the public on 06 March 2014. This is not for consultation but for information. A public meeting will be held at some point this year, details of which we will publish as soon as we have them. In addition, the expert group which has been preparing the various drafts has published a digest of comments presented and a note of their suggested approach.

Nordic/Baltic Regional Division

Finally, on 04 March, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden reached agreement on establishing a Nordic/Baltic regional division of the UPC. It remains to be seen whether the other participating Nordic states (Denmark and Finland) will join in.