The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Enzo Moavero Milanesi, thinks that the positions taken by the policy-makers of the Region of Lombardy on the candidacy of Milan as the future headquarters of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) – in addition to hosting the planned local section of the same Court – “are evident proof of the positive dynamism of the Lombard capital, which is well aware of its points of absolute excellence. Indeed, Milan has all the prerequisites to host important European and international institutions.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirms its willingness to effectively engage to support the candidacy of Milan to host a central section of the UPC, should the Government so decide, after having also duly estimated the financial burden created by the expected costs. As a matter of fact, the UPC Agreement provides that the hosting State shoulder the costs arising from its operations.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also closely following the question of the London-based section of the UPC while waiting for some key issues to be solved for the UPC to begin operating. In fact, the UPC does not form part of the European Union institutional architecture: it is a body defined under an intergovernmental Agreement between 25 EU Member States. To date, the UPC has not begun operating yet because the founding agreement has not yet been ratified by Germany; for the agreement to come into effect, it must be ratified by at least 13 signatory States, including the ones holding the largest number of European patents, namely Germany, France and the United Kingdom. Moreover, the Agreement, in determining the different headquarters of the UPC, also explicitly mentions the British capital. Consequently therefore, the future of the London section of the UPC makes it necessary to revise the entire Agreement with a unanimous vote. Moreover, the future post-Brexit relations between the EU and the UK in respect to intellectual property rights could play an important role on the future configuration of the UPC and will surely undergo pressures from some of the Nordic Countries and business communities for Britain to remain in the system also after Brexit.