UPC judges appointed

20.10.2022

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) yesterday announced the appointment of 34 legally qualified judges and 51 technically qualified judges and the composition of its Presidium. The judges will take up their duties when the Court opens but the Presidium (responsible for the management of the Court, including proposals for amendment of the Rules of Procedure, preparation of the annual budget, and establishing guidelines and supervising training of judges) will do so earlier.

For the Court of Appeal, seven legally qualified judges have been appointed: two are Dutch, one French, two German (one being Klaus Grabinski, elected as President), one Italian and one Swedish. Unless of “exceptional importance”, an appeal will be heard by a panel of five judges comprising three legally qualified judges who are nationals of different contracting member states and two technically qualified judges.

For the Court of First Instance, Florence Butin (who is French) has been elected as President. In the Court of First Instance’s local divisions, the appointments comprise: two national legally qualified judges in each of Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Mannheim, Munich, the Hague and Milan; and one national legally qualified judge in each of Brussels, Helsinki, Lisbon, Ljubljana and Vienna. The national judge for the Copenhagen local division will be appointed before the Court opens. In the Court of First Instance Nordic-Baltic regional division (comprising Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and mainly located in Stockholm) two nationally qualified judges (Swedish and Estonian) have been appointed. In a local or regional division a case will heard by a panel (unless the parties agree to have the case heard by a single judge) comprising three legally qualified judges: two national and one non-national if 50 or more cases per year (average of three successive calendar years) and one national and two non-national if fewer. Technically qualified judges will be included only if one party or the panel requests it; if the panel decides to hear a counterclaim for revocation, a technical judge will be requested.

In the Court of First Instance’s central division, a case will be heard by a panel of two legally qualified judges from different states and one technically qualified judge. In the central division’s seat (in Paris), four legally qualified judges (Belgian, German, French and Italian) have been appointed and in the central division’s section (in Munich) two have been appointed (one French and one German). For each of Paris and Munich one more legally qualified judge will be appointed before the Court opens.

The 51 appointed technically qualified judges are listed according to the following fields of technology: Biotechnology, Chemistry and Pharmaceutics, Electricity, Mechanical engineering, and Physics.

The Presidium comprises: Klaus Grabinski (President of the Court of Appeal) as Chairman, Florence Butin (President of the Court of First Instance), two Court of Appeal judges (who were elected by the Court of Appeal judges) and three Court of First Instance judges (who were elected by the Court of First Instance judges). The Court’s Registrar will also be a non-voting member of the Presidium.

All the judges appointed will be part time, except for the President of the Court of Appeal, the President of the Court of First Instance and the three Court of First Instance judges in the Presidium.

For more information on judges, such as training an remuneration, see here.

Richard Pinckney

Author

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