The UK government announced on 11th August that the location of the London Central Division and the UK Local Division of the UPC had been chosen and that a lease had been signed for 8th floor of the Aldgate Tower. The Intellectual Property Office Minister, Baroness Neville-Rolfe published the following statement about these new premises:
“The signing of this lease represents a milestone in the UK’s preparations for the introduction of the Unified Patent Court. Aldgate Tower, with its superb central location, will provide an ideal home for a modern court to support the UK’s and Europe’s leading edge innovative companies. This will further strengthen UK’s legal and professional services sector, and reinforce London’s status as a world leading centre for dispute resolution.”
After rumours that the UPC might be located in Holborn or near Heathrow it seems that the IPO preferred a building in East London, conveniently located in zone 2, and easily accessible. In fact, 5 underground lines, the DLR, London Overground and 3 major rail stations are all within walking distance of the Aldgate Tower. Two Crossrail stations are also underway at nearby Liverpool Street and Whitechapel.
The full planning application (necessary to change the use of Aldgate Tower’s 8th floor from office use only to a mix of offices and courtrooms) can be found here. It contains notably the proposed floor plan of the UPC, which should be organized around four courtrooms and 14 meeting rooms/office spaces. The IPO’s covering letter to Tower Hamlet also indicates that the installation of the UPC will be followed by the creation of 10 permanent jobs by the IPO.