RULE 14 - Use of languages under Article 49(1) and (2) of the Agreement

1- General

1- Rule 14 is essential for users of the UPC since it defines the language to be chosen for the procedures before all the local and regional divisions of the Court. The rule is directed to language of the procedure in general. It should therefore apply, not only to the infringement action and particularly to the Statement of claim, but also to all other procedures before the court. It also applies to the Statement for revocation and to the Statement for a declaration of non-infringement, if the parties have agreed to bring the action before a local or a regional division instead of the central division (Rules 45-2 and 64).

2- However, Rule 14 does not apply to the procedures before the central division where the language of the granted patent is used.

3- Since Rule 14 belongs to the Chapter of the written procedure and more specifically to the Section relating to the infringement action, the rule is particularly useful for the claimant who must decide the language of the Statement of claim.

4- The decision of the claimant for the Statement of claim is essential since, according to Rule 14-4, any pleading, including the Statement of claim, shall be returned by the Registrar if it is lodged in a language other than the language of the procedure. This implies that the Registrar makes a check on the correctness of the language chosen, even before any objection raised by the defendant. This immediate sanction is applied to a Statement of claim without prejudice of the subsequent examination as to formal requirements of the Statement of claim provided in Rule 16. Rule 16-3 opens namely the possibility to correct the deficiency of the Statement of claim by filing a translation. (with the final sanction of a decision by default if the deficiency is not corrected in due time, as stated in Rule 16-5).

5- It must be noted that Rule 14 is of broad scope, covering the use of languages in all proceedings before the Court, while Rule 16 is limited to formal requirements of the Statement of claim. The possibility to correct a language deficiency, opened for the Statement of claim, does not exist for other pleadings, such as for example the Statement of defence. In case of a language deficiency of such other pleadings, the immediate and only sanction is the return by the Registrar according to Rule 14-4.

6- The definition of the language of the procedure is complex and based on the general provisions of Article 49 of the Agreement. This complexity could not be avoided in view of the political meaning of national languages in the various Contracting Member States. The dissemination of local and regional divisions of the Court of First Instance all over the territory of jurisdiction of the Court automatically resulted in this complexity. Since however, the European patents are granted in only three languages thanks to the provisions of the European Patent Convention, a tendency toward simplification through the use of the language of the granted patent as language of the procedure before the Court, appears in Article 49 of the Agreement as well as in the corresponding provisions of Rule 14. One of the parties, or both, or the panel itself, may namely request that the language of the granted patent be chosen as language of the procedure. This may be accepted under certain conditions as provided in Rules 321 to 323.

7- In the general case, i.e. if no such request for choosing the language of the granted patent is presented or accepted, the language of the procedure is determined in function of the division hearing the case, i.e. either the central division, a local or a regional division, also depending on the specific provisions recited in the designation of languages for each local or regional division by the relevant Contracting Member States, hosting those divisions.

8- The result is rather complex and must be carefully considered by the parties before filing their first pleading and notably by the claimant before deciding on the language to be used for the Statement of claim.

9- Hopefully, Rule 14-3 provides that the Registrar maintains and makes available online to the public, a list of the languages allowed before each local or regional division, together with the specific provisions which each Contracting Member State may have indicated concerning conditions and restrictions of the use of languages before the local or regional division hosted by said Contracting Member State.

The thorough study of this list should limit the risks of objections relating to the language used.

10- Such objections may be raised by the Registry during the examination as to formal requirements of the Statement of claim (Rule 16-2) or by the defendant in a Preliminary objection concerning the language of the Statement of claim (Rule 19-1(c)).

In case of any other written pleadings, no objection can de raised and the sanction is the return of the pleadings by the Registrar according to Rule 14-4.

11- It must be assumed that the list maintained by the Registrar is correct and exactly reflects the indications communicated by the various Contracting Member States. If this would not be the case, a party relying on the information of the list could not suffer any difficulty if he filed a pleadings or a Statement of claim according to the information of the list. The provisions of Rule 16 should permit to correct such a deficiency by filing a translation in the correct language.

12- Nevertheless, it must be recognized that the list may be periodically revised by the Registrar if new provisions are decided by certain Member States. In such a situation, a deficiency resulting from the failure to detect an amendment of the list should also allow correction according to Rule 16.

2- Choice of the language of the Statement of claim in the normal situation (no request for choosing the language of the patent)

13- When none of the parties nor the panel requests to choose the language of the patent as language of proceedings, the choice of the language depends on the division chosen and on any particular indication added by a Contracting Member State when designating a possible language which can be used before a local or regional division

2.1- Before the central division

14- If the case is brought before the central division, the language of the procedure is the language in which the patent was granted, as provided in Article 49-6 of the Agreement. There is no possibility for a party to request the use of another EU language or even another EPC language (English, French or German). The only reservation which a defendant residing within the Contracting Member States can make is provided in Rule 271-7 which allows the defendant to refuse service of a Statement of claim on the basis of Article 8 of the Regulation (EC) N° 1393/2007

2.2- Before a local division

15- The language of proceedings before a local division is set by the provisions of Articles 49(1) and 49(2) of the Agreement which are simply repeated in Rule 14-1(a) and 14-1(b). It can therefore be considered that a first language is defined in Article 49(1) while an “additional” language is defined in Article 49(2), even if all languages are in fact on the same level.

16- The Contracting Member State hosting the local division may decide a certain number of possible languages of proceedings before said local division and communicate this information to the Registrar who shall maintain a list of all communications on languages sent by the Contracting Member States.(Rule 14-3)
The possible languages may comprise languages defined in Article 49(1) i.e. one or more of the official languages of the Contracting Member State and additional languages defined in Article 49(2) i.e. one or several official languages of the European patent Office (English, French and German).

17- In addition, the designation by a Contracting Member State of a certain language among the possible languages of proceedings, may be accompanied by specific indications limiting the freedom of choice and use of certain languages of proceedings by the claimant.

18- The plaintiff should carefully check the list maintained by the Registrar, giving for each local division, all information on the possible languages of proceedings before the local division, which the plaintiff intends to choose, as well as all possible supplemental indications limiting the choice and use of the language of proceedings.

2.2.1- Before a local division for which no designation of additional language has been made

19- If no designation of an additional language according to Article 49(2) has been made by the Contracting Member State hosting a local division, the language of proceedings before said local division must be defined according to Article 49(1).
According to Article 49(1) of the Agreement and Rule 14-1(a), the language of proceedings is then an official EU language, which is the official language or one of the official languages of the Contracting Member State hosting the local division.

2.2.1.1- The Contracting Member State has only one official language

20- In most of the Contracting Member States, there is only one official language so that it is not necessary for such a Contracting Member State to specify that this official language is the language of proceedings of the local division.
In the absence of any specific indication or designation of language for the local division, the claimant can therefore be certain of the language of proceedings and adopt this language for the Statement of claim.

2.2.1.2- The Contracting Member State has several official languages

21- In some Contracting Member States, there are several official languages.
In such a case, the Contracting Member State involved, may designate one or several languages among the official languages, for the language of proceedings of the local division. The Contracting Member State may for example designate only one language or only some of the official languages, for the language of proceedings of the local division.

The plaintiff is therefore compelled to use only one of the languages designated by the contracting Member State as language of the proceedings before the local division.

22- Alternatively, the Contracting Member State may refrain from any designation, in which case, all the official languages are possible candidates for the language of proceedings of the local division as confirmed by the provision of Rule 14-2(a), which states that the claimant may choose as the language of proceedings any of the languages designated.

23- A first limitation of the freedom of choice for the claimant is however provided in Rule 14-2(b) : a Contracting Member State having several official languages may also indicate in the designation of the possible official languages, that the proceedings shall be conducted in “the official language of the defendant”. The rule however gives no indication as to how to determine “the official language” of the defendant. If the defendant is for example a local subsidiary of a multinational company using English as internal communication language, which language is the “official language” of said subsidiary ? An exchange of letters with the defendant in a certain language prior to the engagement of the action could be an indication as to the official language of the defendant. In any case, the claimant will have to justify afterwards the choice of the language of the Statement of claim, to avoid a deficiency possibly noted by the Registry (Rule 16-3(a)), or a preliminary objection filed by the defendant (Rule 19-1(c)).

24- If there are several defendants with different official languages, the claimant may choose one of those languages. Consequently, the claimant has more freedom of choice in this situation and less risks of deficiencies or objections.

2.2.1.3- The Contracting Member State has several regional languages

25- This is the case for example in Belgium for Dutch, French and German.
In such a case, where a Contracting Member state has several official regional languages, the Contracting Member State involved, shall designate one or several languages among the official regional languages, for the language of proceedings of the local division. The Contracting Member State may for example designate only one language or only some of the official regional languages, for the language of proceedings of the local division. In the absence of any further indication, the claimant may use one of those designated official regional languages.

26- A limitation of the freedom of choice for the claimant is however provided in Rule 14-2(b) : the Contracting Member State may indicate in the designation of the possible regional languages, that the proceedings shall be conducted in the official language of the region in which the defendant has his domicile or principal place of business.

27- The claimant could encounter some difficulties to determine the correct regional language of the domicile or principal place of business of the defendant. The claimant must carefully check the regional limits of a specific language and ascertain the exact location of the domicile or principal place of business of the defendant with regard to these regional limits.

28- Using an incorrect language for the Statement of claim may lead to a deficiency which could be corrected before the Registry (Rule 16-3(a)), by lodging a translation in the right language. Use of an incorrect language for the Statement of claim may also lead to a preliminary objection by the defendant (Rule 19-1(c))

29- If there are several defendants having domiciles or principal places of business in several regions, the claimant may choose the language of one of those regions. Consequently, the claimant has more freedom of choice in this situation and less risks of deficiencies or objections.

30- The exact determination of the principal place of business of a defendant may however create difficulties and should be carefully studied by the claimant before deciding to choose a certain language.

31- The only way to eliminate the risks of choosing a wrong language is to avoid, if possible, to engage an infringement action before a local division hosted in a Contracting Member State having made such specific indication relating to the use of regional languages.

2.2.2- Before a local division for which one or more additional languages have been designated

32- In accordance with Article 49(2) of the Agreement and as confirmed by Rule 14-1(b), a Contracting Member State may designate one or more of the three languages of the European Patent Office, i.e. English, French and German, as additional languages. The claimant may then freely choose between any of the designated languages for the language of the Statement of claim and the entire proceedings (Rule 14-2(a))

33- Some persons have expressed the opinion, the EU Court of justice could decide that the use of one of the official languages of the European patent Office instead of the language of the defendant, would not be allowed, when the case relates to a unitary patent. In the absence of a decision of the EU Court of justice on this question, the provisions of Rule 14-2(a) should apply, even for a case relating to a unitary patent, allowing a free choice of the claimant, without prejudice of the limitations of Rules 14-2(b) and (c).

2.2.2.1- The first limitation to the freedom of choice of language

34- With the aim to protect a “small local operator”, Rule 14-2(b) provides that the use of one of the official languages of the European patent Office is not allowed when the domicile or place of business of the defendant and the only infringement acts are both located in a single Contracting Member State hosting the local division before which the proceedings is engaged.

35- In such a situation namely, the action could not be brought before any other local division having its seat in another Contracting Member State according to Article 33(1)(a).

In such a situation, the claimant must consequently use the official language of the Contracting Member State hosting the local division as language of the Statement of claim.

36- It must be noted however that this only applies to the proceedings before a local division : if the case is brought before the central division, the language provisions of the central division still apply i.e. the language of the granted patent is the language of the proceedings.

37- An infringement case can be brought before the central division even if the defendant is a “small local operator”, for example if no local division exist in the Contracting Member State where both the defendant and the infringement are located. This is also possible if there are several defendants and one of those has his domicile or principal place of business outside the territory of the Contracting Member States (Article 33(1) of the agreement).

38- Other situations where an infringement action may be brought before the central division are mentioned in the commentary to Rule 13 (§ 4.7.1)

39- Choosing the official language of the Contracting Member State hosting the local division as language of the Statement of claim, as provided in the first limitation of Rule 14-2(b) is easy if the Contracting member State has only one official language.

It is more difficult if the Contracting Member State has several official languages or several official regional languages. Difficulties may also arise if here are more than one defendant.

Rule 14-2(b) gives guidance for those specific situations.

40- The relevant provisions of Rule 14-2(b) certainly apply within the frame of the first limitation of choice of languages i.e. when the domicile or place of business of the defendant and the only infringement acts are both located in a single Contracting Member State. Nothing seems to forbid applying those provisions of Rule 14-2(b) outside of the frame of said first limitation, as explained above (§ 2.2.1.2 and 2.2.1.3).

2.2.2.1.1- Choice of the official language when the Contracting Member State has several official languages

41- The Contracting Member State may refrain from any specific designation between several official languages. In which case, all the official languages are possible candidates for the language of proceedings of the local division as confirmed by the provision of Rule 14-2(a) which states that the claimant may choose as the language of proceedings any of the languages designated.

42- Alternatively, the Contracting Member State may designate one or several languages among the official languages, for the language of proceedings of the local division. The Contracting Member State may for example designate only one language or only some of the official languages, for the language of proceedings of the local division.

The plaintiff is therefore compelled to use only one of the languages designated by the Contracting Member State as language of the proceedings before the local division.

2.2.2.1.2- Choice of the official language when the Contracting Member State has several regional languages

43- When a Contracting Member State has several regional languages, said State shall designate one or several languages among the official regional languages, for the language of proceedings of the local division. The Contracting Member State may for example designate only one language or only some of the official regional languages, for the language of proceedings of the local division. In the absence of any further indication, the claimant may use one of those designated official regional languages.

44- The Contracting Member State may also indicate in the designation of the possible regional languages, that the proceedings shall be conducted in the official language of the region in which the defendant has his domicile or principal place of business. The practical difficulties resulting from this provision have been explained above (see § 2.2.1.3)

2.2.2.1.3- Choice of the official language when there are several defendants

45- If there are several defendants having domiciles or principal places of business in several regions, the claimant may choose the language of one of those regions. Consequently, the claimant has more freedom of choice in this situation and less risks of deficiencies or objections.

46- The exact determination of the principal place of business of a defendant may however create difficulties and should be carefully studied by the claimant before deciding to choose a certain language.

2.2.2.2- The second limitation to the freedom of choice of language

47- Rule 14-2(c) provides for another limitation to the use of an “additional language” different from the official language of the Contracting Member State.
This second limitation has been called the “English limited clause” since in practice English will be the additional language designated by many Contracting Member States.

48- Contrary to the purpose of the first limitation which has been provided to protect the “small local operators” who are sued before the UPC, the purpose of the second limitation is to take into account the language abilities of the judges of the local divisions.

49- To achieve this goal, a Contracting Member State may indicate, when designating an “additional” language, that the judge-rapporteur may order “in the interest of the panel” that the judges use the official language of the Contracting Member State instead of the “additional” language (usually English) for :

  • - Written orders and decisions issued by the court (with certified translation in the “additional” language which is the language of the proceedings)
  • - Oral proceedings

50- This means that the claimant will be allowed to draft the Statement of claim in the “additional” language which is the language of the proceedings (usually English in that case) and the defendant will be compelled to use also this “additional” language exclusively during the entire proceedings (unless the conditions for the first limitation would be applicable) while the judges may be allowed to use another language.

Clearly this will complicate the proceedings, particularly the oral proceedings if the parties use one language and the judges another language.

51- The possibility for the judges to use the official language of the Contracting Member State instead of the “additional” language is however strictly limited to the two steps mentioned in Rule 14-2(c) and stated above.

Apart from orders and decisions, the entire written procedure remains in the language of the proceedings chosen by the claimant in his Statement of claim.
The same applies for the interim procedure, including any interim conference, since this part of the proceedings is distinct from the oral proceedings.

52- Of course, a Contracting Member State may decide not to use this possibility and on the contrary, designate one or several languages of the EPO as possible additional languages without adding any specific indication as to the use of those languages. A Contracting Member State may also withdraw such an indication after some time.

In that case, the plaintiff has a complete free choice between all the designated languages.

53- Clearly, the claimant must carefully check the designations and possible indications which have been made and are presently valid before choosing a language for the Statement of claim to be filed before a given local division.

2.3- Before a regional division

54- The language of proceedings before a regional division is set by the provisions of Articles 49(1) and 49(2) of the Agreement. In the case of a regional division however, the Contracting Member States sharing a regional division must designate one or several official languages as first language of the regional division (Article 49(1)).

55- If only one official language is designated, it will obviously be an official language of one of the Contracting Member States sharing the regional division. If several official languages are designated, they will be official languages of the different Contracting Member States.

56- One or several languages, among the official languages of the EPO (English, French and German) may also be designated as “additional” language of the proceedings before the regional division (Article 49(2)). In most cases English will probably be designated as “additional” language.

57- The Contracting Member States hosting the regional division shall communicate information about the designation of languages to the Registrar who shall maintain a list of all communications on languages sent by the Contracting Member States. (Rule 14-3)

58- When choosing the language of the Statement of claim to be filed before a regional division, the claimant should carefully check this list since the claimant cannot know the official language to be used without the information of this list. This is in contrast with the situation before a local division, when the Contracting Member State has only one official language.

2.3.1- Before a regional division for which no designation of additional language has been made

59- If no designation of an additional language according to Article 49(2) has been made by the Contracting Member States hosting a regional division, the language of proceedings before said regional division must be defined according to Article 49(1).

According to Article 49(1) of the Agreement and Rule 14-1(a), the language of proceedings is then an official EU language, which is the official language or one of the official languages, which has been designated by the Contracting Member States sharing the regional division.

2.3.1.1- The Contracting Member States sharing the regional division designated only one official language

60- When The Contracting Member States sharing a regional division designate only one official language, the claimant can be certain of the language of proceedings and can use this language for the Statement of claim.

2.3.1.2- The Contracting Member States sharing the regional division designated several official languages

61- When The Contracting Member States sharing a regional division designate several official languages, all the official languages designated are possible candidates for the language of proceedings of the regional division as confirmed by the provision of Rule 14-2(a).

62- A first limitation of the freedom of choice for the claimant provided in Rule 14-2(b) seems to apply to regional divisions as well as to local divisions : the Contracting Member States sharing a regional division may indicate in the designation of the possible official languages, that the proceedings shall be conducted in “the official language of the defendant”.

63- The rule however gives no indication as to how to determine “the official language” of the defendant. If the defendant is for example a local subsidiary of a multinational company using English as internal communication language, which is the “official language” of said subsidiary ? An exchange of letters with the defendant in a certain language prior to the engagement of the action could be an indication as to the official language of the defendant.

64- In any case, the claimant will have to justify afterwards the choice of the language of the Statement of claim, to avoid a deficiency possibly noted by the Registry (Rule 16-3(a)), or a preliminary objection filed by the defendant(Rule 19-1(c)).

65- If there are several defendants with different official languages, the claimant may choose one of those languages. Consequently, the claimant has more freedom of choice in this situation and less risks of deficiencies or objections.

66- A second limitation of freedom of choice for the claimant may be applicable
According to Rule 14-2(b) in the case one or several Contracting Member States sharing a regional division have official regional languages.

67- In such a case, which is probably seldom, the Contracting Member States sharing the regional divisions may indicate in the designation of the possible regional languages, that the proceedings shall be conducted in the official language of the region in which the defendant has his domicile or principal place of business.

68- The claimant could encounter some difficulties to determine the right regional language of the domicile or principal place of business of the defendant. The claimant must carefully check the regional limits of a specific language and ascertain the exact location of the domicile or principal place of business of the defendant with regard to these regional limits.

69- Using an incorrect language for the Statement of claim may lead to a deficiency which could be corrected before the Registry (Rule 16-3(a)), by lodging a translation in the right language or to a preliminary objection by the defendant (Rule 19-1(c)).

70- If there are several defendants having domiciles or principal places of business in several regions, the claimant may choose the language of one of those regions. Consequently, the claimant has more freedom of choice in this situation and less risks of deficiencies or objections.

71- The exact determination of the principal place of business of a defendant may however create difficulties and should be carefully studied by the claimant before deciding to choose a certain language.

72- The only way to eliminate the risks of choosing a wrong language is to avoid, if possible, to engage an infringement action before a regional division for which the Contracting Member States have made such specific indication relating to the use of regional languages.

2.3.2- Before a regional division for which one or more additional languages have been designated

73- In accordance with Article 49(2) of the Agreement, the Contracting Member States sharing a regional division may designate one or more of the three languages of the European Patent Office, i.e. English, French and German, as additional languages. The claimant may then freely choose between any of the designated languages for the language of the Statement of claim and the entire proceedings (Rule 14-2(a))

74- Some persons have expressed the opinion, the EU Court of justice could decide that the use of one of the official languages of the European patent Office instead of the language of the defendant, would not be allowed, when the case relates to a unitary patent. In the absence of a decision of the EU Court of justice on this question, the provisions of Rule 14-2(a) should apply, even for a case relating to a unitary patent, allowing a free choice of the claimant, without prejudice of the limitations of Rules 14-2(b) and (c).

2.3.2.1- The first limitation to the freedom of choice of language

75- With the aim to protect a “small local operator”, Rule 14-2(b) provides that the use of one of the official languages of the European patent Office is not allowed when the domicile or place of business of the defendant and the only infringement acts are both located in a single Contracting Member State participating to a regional division before which the proceedings is engaged. In such a situation namely, the action could not be brought before any other local or regional division having its seat in another Contracting Member State according to Article 33(1)(a).

76- In such a situation, the claimant must consequently use the official language of one of the Contracting Member States participating to the regional division as language of the Statement of claim.
This provision is somewhat surprising in the case of a regional division for which the Contracting Member States would not have designated the official language of that specific Contracting Member State.

77- Choosing the official language of one of the Contracting Member States sharing a regional division as language of the Statement of claim, as provided in the first limitation of Rule 14-2(b) is easy if the Contracting member State has only one official language.

It is more difficult if the Contracting Member State has several official languages or several official regional languages. Difficulties may also arise if there are more than one defendant.

Rule 14-2(b) gives guidance for those specific situations.

78- The relevant provisions of Rule 14-2(b) certainly apply within the frame of the first limitation of choice of languages i.e. when the domicile or place of business of the defendant and the only infringement acts are both located in a single Contracting Member State. Nothing seems to forbid applying those provisions of Rule 14-2(b) outside of the frame of said first limitation.

2.3.2.2- The second limitation to the freedom of choice of language

79- Rule 14-2(c) provides for another limitation to the use of an “additional language” different from one of the official languages of the Contracting Member States sharing a regional division.

This second limitation has been called the “English limited clause” since in practice English will be the additional language designated.

Contrary to the purpose of the first limitation which has been provided to protect the “small local operators” who are sued before the UPC, the purpose of the second limitation is to take into account the language abilities of the judges of the local or regional divisions.

80- To achieve this goal, the Contracting Member States sharing a regional division may indicate, when designating an “additional” language, that the judge-rapporteur may order “in the interest of the panel” that the judges use one of the official languages designated by the Contracting Member States instead of the “additional” language (usually English) for :

  • - Written orders and decisions issued by the court (with certified translation in the “additional” language which is the language of the proceedings)
  • - Oral proceedings

81- This means that the claimant will be allowed to draft the Statement of claim in the “additional” language which is the language of the proceedings (usually English in that case) and the defendant will be compelled to use also this “additional” language exclusively during the entire proceedings (unless the conditions for the first limitation would be applicable) while the judges may be allowed to use another language.

Clearly this will complicate the proceedings, particularly the oral proceedings if the parties use one language and the judges another language.

82- In addition, in the case of a regional division, the official language designated may not be the preferred language of all judges of the panel. The benefit of this provision seems therefore doubtful for the judges sitting in a panel of a regional division.

83- The possibility for the judges to use one of the official languages designated by the Contracting Member States instead of the “additional” language is strictly limited to the two steps mentioned in Rule 14-2(c) and stated above.
Apart from orders and decisions, the entire written procedure remains in the language of the proceedings chosen by the claimant in his Statement of claim.

The same applies for the interim procedure, including any interim conference, since this part of the proceedings is distinct from the oral proceedings.

84- Of course, the Contracting Member States sharing a regional division may decide not to use this possibility and on the contrary, designate one or several languages of the EPO as possible additional languages without adding any specific indication as to the use of those languages. The Contracting Member States may also withdraw such an indication after some time.
In that case, the plaintiff has a complete free choice between all the designated languages.

85- Clearly, the claimant must carefully check the designations and possible indications which have been made and are presently valid before choosing a language for the Statement of claim to be filed before a given regional division.

3- Language of the Statement of claim when a request is made to use the language of the patent

86- According to Article 49(3) to (5) of the Agreement, the language of the proceedings may be changed to the language of the granted patent, following either an Application by both parties (Rule 321), a proposal of the judge rapporteur (Rule 322) or an Application by only one party (Rule 323).

87- In all situations, this results in a change of language so that the language of the Statement of Claim or the statement of Defence must still be the language of the proceedings determined as mentioned previously, depending on the division chosen and on the designations and indications relating to said division.

88- According to Rule 323, if a party wishes to use the language of the granted patent, an Application to that effect must be included in the Statement of Claim or in the Statement of Defence.

If the party choses the language of the granted patent already in the Statement of Claim or the Statement of Defence, the risk is high that the Statement of claim or the Statement of Defence be refused if the Application to change the language is finally not accepted.

89- The Registrar has theoretically the possibility to simply return any pleading which he considers not drafted in the correct language. However, if an Application to use the language of the patent is included in the Statement of claim or the Statement of Defence, it seems probable that the Registrar will wait before deciding to return the pleading, for a decision on that Application, taken by the President of the Court of First Instance (Rule 323-3). Such a decision may be appealed with a leave of the Court of First Instance according to Rule 220-2.

If the decision refuses the Application, the provisions of Rule 19 can be applied and the defendant may lodge a Preliminary objection on the basis of an incorrect language of the Statement of Claim.