The patent attorney organisation, EPLIT (European Patent Litigators Association), has listed here courses which will qualify a European Patent Attorney (EPA) to represent a party in the Unified Patent Court (UPC). Detailed information on the following two courses is provided: “Patent Litigation in Europe” provided by CEIPI (Centre d’Etudes Internationales de la Propriété Intellectuelle, Université de Strasbourg) (19 October 2018 - 7 June 2019, registration closes 30 September 2018); and “Representation Preparation Course” provided by Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf (12 October 2018 – 6 July 2019), with information due to follow on a third course “Certificato di superamento dell’esame conclusivo del Corso di Proprietà Industriale – Brevetti” provided by Politecnico di Milano.
The content of these three courses corresponds to the curriculum for the European Patent Litigation Certificate (EPLC), set out in Rule 3 of the draft EPLC Rules. Article 48(2) UPC Agreement provides that EPAs having appropriate qualifications such as an EPLC are entitled to represent a party in the UPC. The EPLC itself will not be available before the UPC Agreement enters into force, but the draft EPLC Rules set out other appropriate qualifications, which include certain courses/certificates listed in Rule 12(a), the completion/grant of which is deemed appropriate during the first year of the UPC Agreement. The above CEIPI and Politecnico di Milano courses are listed in Rule 12(a), and a request has been made to the UPC Preparatory Committee for the Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf course to be added to that list.
These qualifications are not required by nationally qualified lawyers, who automatically have full rights of representation in the UPC (Article 48(1) UPC Agreement).