WIPR survey: Top 5 reasons London UPC seat should move to Milan


WIPR survey: Top 5 reasons London UPC seat should move to Milan

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Nearly 90% of WIPR readers believe that Milan would be a good fit for the Unified Patent Court’s (UPC) central division seat should it be moved from London, according to a recent survey.

The seat, which is due to hear cases on chemistry, including pharmaceuticals and human necessities, is expected to be based in London, but this has been thrown into doubt following the Brexit vote.

These are the five top reasons that readers, who provided the second highest number of responses ever for a WIPR survey, think Milan would be a good replacement for London.

1. Location, location, location

Readers praised Milan for its “strategic” location, with one adding that Milan is “geographically placed at the heart of Europe”. Another explained that the city has good infrastructure and an effective transport system.

2. Extensive experience

Milan’s courts have extensive experience in IP matters, according to numerous readers.

“Milan is particularly developed in chemical and pharma-related matters, as this business is concentrated in the Milan area where almost all pharmaceutical companies operating at the Italian and EU level have their headquarters in Italy,” claimed one reader.

The city also has the human necessities aspect—which includes clothes, footwear and tobacco—of the seat covered.

3. Rankings and relevance

Readers added that Italy ranks fourth among signatories of the UPC Agreement for the number of European patent applications filed, after Germany, France and the UK.

“The Milan court deals with most patent disputes in Italy and already hosts a local division in a new and modern building, which is ideal for hosting the central division,” said one reader.

Another explained that Italy deserves to have a “better” role within the UPC, considering its “relevance in terms of patents and the market”.

4. Years of specialisation

Practitioners, including patent attorneys and IP lawyers, have several years of specialisation in the chemical and pharmaceutical fields, claimed readers.

The practitioners hold periodic updates where judges can also participate, in order to enhance the exchange of opinions and ideas on how to best deal with these types of matters and cases, explained another reader.

5. London just doesn’t make sense

“London certainly cannot be the location,” said one reader, while another added that the UPC without the UK seems “possible and likely”.

Most recently, the motion on the Unified Patent Court (Immunities and Privileges) Order 2017, the final legislative step in the UK’s ratification process, was not debated in the House of Commons as had been scheduled.

One reader claimed that they just wanted the post-Brexit situation resolved before the UPC is brought into force.

“In particular, we need to avoid the absurd uncertainty of the UK joining the UPC then immediately being forced to leave,” they said.

For this week's survey, we ask: After Canada's Supreme Court issued a global injunction against Google, the company moved its fight to the US and said the Canadian order is unenforceable in the US as it is inconsistent with the First Amendment. Do you agree

Unified Patent Court, unitary patent, London, Milan, Brexit, chemistry, UPC, WIPR Survey