Confirmed – UK Qualified European Patent Attorneys retain rights before UPC

UK-based qualifications enabling European Patent Attorneys to represent clients before the Unified Patent Court (UPC) have been formally adopted.

At its inaugural meeting on 22 February 2022, the UPC Administrative Council adopted Rules on the qualifications that European Patent Attorneys must have before they can represent parties directly under Art. 48(2) UPC.  The Rules include a list of qualifications that will be accepted during a transitional period of one year after the UPC Agreement comes into force.  The list includes five qualifications from UK organisations:

  • Nottingham Law School, course “Intellectual Property Litigation and Advocacy”
  • Queen Mary University of London, courses “Certificate in Intellectual Property Law” or “MSc Management of Intellectual Property”
  • Intellectual Property Regulation Board, “Intellectual Property Litigation Certificate”
  • Intellectual Property Regulation Board, “Higher Courts Litigation Certificate”
  • Intellectual Property Regulation Board, “Higher Courts Advocacy Certificate”

Since a previous draft of the Rules was published in 2016, the UK has left the European Union. The final version of the Rules specify that the UK qualifications will only be accepted if they were gained before the end of the Brexit transition period, i.e. before 31 December 2020.

Matthew Critten, Chair of CIPA’s Litigation Committee, said:

“Following speculation that the UK-based qualifications would be deleted from the list, this is good news. European patent attorneys from across Europe have obtained these qualifications, and expected to be able to rely on them under the transitional provisions. The Administrative Council is right to recognise that expectation as legitimate.”

View the official documents of the inaugural meetings of the UPC Governing Bodies on the UPC website here.

Date Published: 22 March 2022

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