Central Division (Munich Section) Admits Reply to Rejoinder

Key Procedural Developments

Judge Rapporteur Kupecz of the UPC’s Central Division in Munich, granted the claimants' application to admit a submission dated January 15, 2024, and its accompanying expert declarations into the proceedings. This decision was made despite the defendant's opposition, arguing that the claimants' request to submit further expert declarations should have been reserved for the interim conference and that admitting these documents would lead to an uncontrollable expansion of written evidence.

Grounds for the Decision

The judge-rapporteur's order emphasized that the UPC's Rules of Procedure (RoP) allow for further written pleadings upon a reasoned request by a party at any stage of the written procedure. This includes after the exchange of pleadings as outlined in Rule 43 RoP. The application was deemed neither premature nor unjustified, considering the concise nature of the submissions (totaling six pages) and their focus on specific points raised by the defendant's last written submission.

Implications of the Decision

This procedural order signifies the UPC's commitment to ensuring a fair and equitable process, allowing parties to adequately respond to new arguments, thereby ensuring the court has a comprehensive understanding of all pertinent issues. The decision to admit the claimants' submissions, despite the defendant's concerns about the potential for procedural delay, highlights the court's discretion in balancing the need for thoroughness with procedural efficiency.

No Interim Conference Required

Additionally, the decision notes that after reviewing the parties' pleadings and further submissions, the division found no need for an interim conference at this stage, indicating that the court feels sufficiently informed to proceed without further interim discussions. This development underscores the UPC's efficiency-oriented approach, aiming to streamline proceedings whenever possible without compromising on the quality of judicial examination.

Our Takeaways 

  • Flexibility in Procedural Submissions: The Unified Patent Court (UPC) demonstrates its willingness to allow additional submissions after the exchange of the main written pleadings. 
  • Importance of Procedural Efficiency: Despite allowing additional submissions, the UPC is focused on maintaining procedural efficiency. The decision not to hold an interim conference indicates the court's confidence in managing proceedings effectively through written submissions and orders, streamlining the process without compromising fairness or thoroughness.
  • Implications for Litigation Strategy: This decision underscores the need for parties involved in UPC litigation to remain adaptable and responsive. Legal practitioners must be prepared to justify the timing and content of their submissions convincingly, understanding that the court's overarching goals include both fairness to the parties and the efficient administration of justice.