Member States participating in UPC

Member States of the EU that have already ratified the UPC Agreement (or in the case of Germany has indicated it will do so) and so will take part in the UPC as soon as it commences are:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden.

Further Member States that have signed the UPC Agreement but not yet ratified and cannot take part until they ratify are:

Cyprus, Czechia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Romania, Slovakia.

The following Member States are not expected to join the UPC:

Croatia, Poland, Spain

EPC countries which are not Member States of the EU and so not eligible to take part in UPC are:

Albania, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Montenegro (from 1 October 2022), North Macedonia, Norway, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, UK.

Confirmed locations for local/regional divisions of UPC

The following locations have been confirmed for local/regional divisions.

Member state Local / regional division Location No. of Legally Qualified Judges
Austria Local Vienna one
Belgium Local Brussels one
Bulgaria No local / regional division    
Denmark Local Copenhagen one
Estonia Nordic-Baltic Regional Stockholm two
Finland Local Helsinki one
France Local Paris two
Germany Local Munich,
Italy Local Milan two
Latvia Nordic-Baltic Regional Stockholm two
Lithuania Nordic-Baltic Regional Stockholm two
Luxembourg No local / regional division (is seat of court appeal)    
Malta No local / regional division    
Netherlands Local The Hague two
Portugal Local Lisbon one
Slovenia Local Ljubljana one
Sweden Nordic-Baltic Regional Stockholm two

The Members States cooperating to provide the Nordic-Baltic Regional Division, which will be mainly located in Stockholm, are:

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden.

Note that, where a Member State does not have a local or regional division, proceedings that would otherwise be brought in local/regional division shall be brought before the central division.

Central divisions

There will be central divisions in Paris and Munich. Munich will deal with patents relating to mechanical engineering while Paris deals with electronics. There was to be a central division in London dealing with pharmaceuticals and life sciences, but as the UK is no longer eligible to take part in UPC, either a different third central division will be nominated or this subject matter will be split between Paris and Munich.

Other locations

There will be an Arbitration and Mediation Centre in each of Lisbon and Ljubljana.

There is a Training Centre in Budapest for training judges, although Hungary itself has not yet formally ratified.

Written by Joanne Welch.

Interested in learning more about the UPC? This is one of a series of short explainers about the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court. The full list of articles is: