The European Unified Patent Court in Milan: full or limited competence?

On June 1st 2023 the European Unified Patent Court (UPC) will enter into force, but the fate of the Milan seat is still unclear.

The Unified Patent Court, considered three central seats with different competences: one in Paris, one in Germany and one in London.

After the Brexit, the London seat – competent for pharmaceutical, chemical patents and supplementary protection certificates – is no longer being implemented and it would be Milan’s turn to replace it, being that Italy follows Great Britain by number of patent filings applications. It’s also important to note that Italy produces 52% of the pharmaceuticals in Europe.

Nevertheless, France and Germany insist on managing also this Court and the diplomatic meetings that followed do not seem to have solved the problem.

At this time, it seems there is a possibility of agreement to settle in Milan the central seat allocated to London, but with limited powers. Milan would have competence only on pharmaceutical patents, chemical patens would instead be handled by Germany and those related to supplementary protection certificates by France.

This possible agreement is very disappointing, not only for the limited competence of our country but also because issues on pharmaceutical, chemical patents and supplementary certificates are often extremely connected. There is the serious risk that the same lawsuit could take place in more Courts simultaneously, entailing a substantial increase of expenses.

On March 28th the President of the Register of the Industrial Property Consultants attended a parliamentary hearing to raise the issue to the world of politics and insist that diplomacy brings the central seat, already planned in London, in Milan with full faculties and capacities.

We can only wait, but time is running out relentlessly.

We are equipped with a specialized software for the management of patents, design, trademark, copyright's portfolios" Battista Software Project" - Studio Brevetti Turini s.r.l. Project co-financed under Tuscany POR FESR 2014-2020

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