A dedicated Training Centre for the UPC was officially opened in Budapest yesterday, the Centre being the coordinating office for the training of UPC judges. The inauguration was combined with a conference discussing the training. Edward Nodder, who attended these events, reports the following:
Paul van Beukering, Chairman of the UPC Preparatory Committee, identified judicial training as an absolute priority of the Preparatory Committee and essential for the success of the UPC. Other speakers also stressed the importance of the quality of judges (and hence training). Benoît Battistelli, President of the EPO, said that the EPO is offering its expertise and knowledge from its long experience in training patent specialists, and António Campinos, President of OHIM, said that OHIM too was ready to share its experience, noting that it was increasingly working with the EPO training academy on judicial training.
Olivér Várhelyi, the Preparatory Committee’s HR &Training Group Co-ordinator, spoke about the selection of judges, as well as their training. The process of pre-selection from the 1,300 applications is still in progress. Apart from training in the UPC Agreement and Rules of Procedure, some legally qualified judges will require training in patent law and litigation and language training. Technically qualified judges will be trained in civil procedure and judicial skills and behaviour. Extensive use of internships and e-learning (particularly for languages) is expected. The need for a uniform approach across all Local and Regional Divisions is recognised, and training will include use of consistent terminology and drafting style.