We previously reported that JUVE were conducting a survey on who they wanted to serve as Judges in the UPC. Results have been published here (UPC favourites: French and German judges dominate) and here (Majority of patent community still in favour of UPC), and summarised below:
- There were 1300 respondents.
- Over 35% of the respondents were from France and the same form Germany, the remainder were spread across the remainder of Europe (including the UK), North America and Asia.
- About 55% were patent attorneys, 35% were lawyers working in law firms and 5.5% were in-house patent personnel
- Unsurprisingly perhaps therefore, French and German judges occupied the top 10 spots.
- Klaus Grabinski was the favourite to become President of the Court of Appeal, attracting 28.5% of the votes. He is a highly experienced Judge who has served in the Patent Senate of the Federal Court of Justice of Germany (the top Court). The next four popular Judges came from Germany (two Judges) and France (two Judges). The President will be chosen by the Court of Appeal judges.
- The first President of the First Instance Court will be French in accordance with Article 14(2) UPC Agreement, and will be elected by the Court of First Instance judges. Paul Maier attracted the most votes, being 14.91%, narrowly followed by others. Mr Maier is currently the Director EU Observatory on infringements of IPRs at the EUIPO.
- 86% of the respondents were supportive of the UPC
- 45% of the respondents desired Paris to replace the third central division, which was previously allocated to London. 26% voted Milan, another 26% voted Amsterdam and 17% voted for Munich. JUVE explains that French and German respondents tended to vote in favour of their own cities. Milan has already applied for the seat and Amsterdam is anticipated to do so.
The JUVE report provides further details.
Quality of judges and their case management skills undoubtedly hold the key to UPC’s success, and so their appointments will be closely watched by interested businesses. JUVE has reported that the Preparatory Committee has confirmed that there will appoint around 95 legal and technical judges. This can happen when one more participating state ratifies and deposits the PAP Protocol (protocol on the provisional application) – which looks likely very soon.
About the author(s)
Seiko Hidaka is a patent litigator with an international outlook, known for horizon scanning and thought leadership.
Gordon Harris is part of the Global IP Leadership Team for Gowling WLG, working across all the firm's offices to help build the practice and develop new specialisms.