TANKRED THIEM PROMOTES MILAN AS CANDIDATE FOR THE CENTRAL DIVISION OF THE UNIFIED COURT AT THE DIJV CONGRESS
On 7-9 October 2016, the annual congress organized by the “Vereinigung für den Gedankenaustausch zwischen deutschen und italienischen Juristen e.V.” and its sister company the “Association for cultural exchanges between Italian and German jurists” was held – in complete bilingualism – in Munich, Germany. The congress took place in the comfortable EPO hall in Munich, with the participation of German lawyers, judges and university professors and with patent law being one of the central topics of the event.
Yet again the most heated debate concerned the effects of BREXIT on the new unified system of European patent law and the Unified Patent Court. While on the one hand several issues were brought to light by the interpretation of the treaty and of European Regulations, on the other hand what was discussed was the feasibility of those approaches that nevertheless try to include the UK in the scope covered by the unitary title, thus ensuring that the extent of jurisdiction of the future Tribunal will also reach beyond the Channel. In the discussions and debates that follow several possibilities and political and legal implications were discussed, and specifically that of assigning to Milan the section of the central division of the Unified Court, originally given to London. In that regard, the order of Italian consultants had already invited the national Government to take a formal stand on the point (cfr: http://www.ordine-brevetti.it/categoria/comunicazioni-iscritti/name/candidatura-di-milano-a-sede-del-tribunale-unificato-dei-brevetti). The agreement establishing a Unified Court places peculiar attention on the number of validated patents as well as the number of ongoing proceedings, as relevant factors for the choice of location where to allocate the sections of the Court. It is undeniable that Italy – after Germany and France, where the other two sections of the central division have been assigned to – is the State with the highest number of convalidated European patents. The debate ended with the statement, no longer disputed, that the city of Milan would be the most realistic and suitable choice for the section originally assigned to London. This also confirms what had already been stated by several Germany professionals who participated at the AIPPI Conference in Milan in September 2016. The colleagues had the opportunity to visit and see Milan and consider the potential offered by the Court of Milan with its modern adjacent structures.