The Unified Patent Court (UPC) consists of a Court of First Instance, a Court of Appeal and a Registry.
Court of First Instance
The Court of First Instance comprises a central chamber sitting in Paris and a division sitting in Munich, as well as several local and regional chambers. All the panels of the Court of First Instance are multinational and composed of three judges.
The panels of the central chamber shall be composed of two legally qualified judges who are nationals of different Contracting Member States and one technically qualified judge. Each panel hearing actions against decisions of the European Patent Office relating to administrative tasks shall be composed of three legally qualified judges who are nationals of different Contracting Member States. The parties may agree that their dispute shall be decided by a legally qualified judge sitting as a single judge.
The panels of a regional chamber shall be composed of two legally qualified judges who are nationals of one of the Contracting Member States concerned and one legally qualified judge who is not a national of one of the Contracting Member States concerned. In addition, each panel of a local or regional division may, at the request of a party or on the panel’s own initiative, be assigned an additional technically qualified judge who has appropriate qualifications and experience in the technical field concerned.
The seat of the local division established at the request of a Contracting Member State shall be designated by the Contracting Member State in whose territory it is established. Each Contracting Member State may have no more than four local chambers.
A regional chamber shall be established for two or more Contracting Member States at their request. Those Contracting Member States shall designate the seat of the Chamber concerned. The regional chamber may meet at different places. German local chambers shall be established in Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Mannheim and Munich.
Actions for revocation, negative declaratory actions and actions against decisions of the European Patent Office relating to administrative tasks the central chamber has the exclusive competence. Infringement actions and requests for interim relief are to be brought before the local or regional chambers.
Court of Appeal
The Court of Appeal shall have its seat in Luxembourg. Each panel of the Court of Appeal sits in a multinational composition of five judges. Of these, three are legally qualified and nationals of different Contracting Member States and two are technically qualified, the latter being assigned to the panel from a pool of judges. In the case of actions against decisions of the European Patent Office relating to administrative tasks, the panel is composed of three legally qualified judges who are nationals of different contracting member states. Each panel of the Court of Appeal shall be chaired by a legally qualified judge.
A Registry shall be established at the seat of the Court of Appeal, headed by the Registrar, to perform the functions assigned to it by the Statute. The register kept by it shall be public. Annexes to the Registry shall be established in each chamber of the Court of First Instance.