As posted here the training for 18 “Extra Training Judges”and Technically Qualified Judges started in 2015. The next steps for the nomination in 2016 of UPC Judges were discussed at the EPLAW Congress in Brussels on 7th and 8th December 2015. It appears that:
The European Patent Lawyers Association issued a statement to its members detailing the different training initiatives developed by the EPLAW and the EPO for candidate UPC Judges.
It appears that in 2015, the EPO Academy ran two training modules for potential UPC judges who had little judicial experience in patents or who were from countries with limited patent litigation, in which they were introduced to basic patent law and patent litigation by well-known European judges and European litigators. The EPLAW in parallel produced e-learning materials which will be published on the EPO’s website before the end of 2015.
2016 will see more training initiatives being organised. The EPLAW notably announces that it will assist the EPO with its standard training programme on infringement and litigation for judges with no or little experience in patent litigation in the EPC countries, and act as representatives in mock trials. Finally, the EPO Academy plans “to run workshops and mock trials for those experienced European patent judges who have applied to be UPC judges concentrating on familiarising them with the Rules of Procedure and the Agreement of the UPC”.
The training of the UPC technical judges started last week (on 24th September 2015) at the CEIPI in Strasbourg. The programme will be taught over a period of three weeks between September and November 2015, and from Thursday to Saturday, in order to facilitate the attendance of the participants.
Designed specifically for the UPC technical judges, the training “addresses the specific legal skills that judges must have, and includes as well the training on the fundamentals of fair trial and due process in the context of patent law. The program encompasses a range of intensive thematic and specialized modules, particularly crafted to respond to the needs of technically qualified judges.” It thus aims at ensuring that the participants have a sufficient knowledge of the law while offering specialised trainings on a range of key technical issues of tailored to the Unified Patent Court context.
It is divided between three modules and eight topics. Module 1 looks at “Judicial Ethics“, “The UPC fundamental principles and fair trial“, “Competition law and the UPC” and “Legal Skills“. Module 2 focuses on “Applicable substantive law and patent holder rights” and “The UPC and its rules of procedure“. Finally, Module 3 is concerned with “Enforcement” and “Expertise and Witnesses“. In order to meet the challenges of training these new technical judges on a theoretical and practical level the training will be structured around lectures “combined with a intense analysis of jurisprudence and practical exercises, including workshops with case studies and two moot court exercises“.
The appointment of judges for the UPC seems to be well on its way. In fact after approving a list of candidates in July during its 6th meeting, the Preparatory Committee is now in the process of notifying the applicants of their eligibility for becoming a UPC judge and whether or not they would require further patent litigation training.
It is however only a press-selection and candidates will have to submit a formal application if they actually wish to become a judge at the UPC. The formal application process has not yet been made public.
The training centre for judges who will work at the Unified Patent Court (UPC) has opened in Budapest. Launched March 13th, the centre will be based in government offices in the Hungarian capital.
The opening coincided with a two-day conference to discuss the centre, along with the unitary patent and UPC more generally. Zoltán Cséfalvay, minister of state of Hungary’s Ministry for National Economy, said EU member states participating in the unitary patent system had “unanimously” decided that judges should be trained in Budapest. Benoît Battistelli, President of the European Patent Office (EPO), in his address welcomed ” another step forward in putting in place a unified patent litigation system for the benefit of inventors and industry in Europe”. Paul van Beukering, Chairman of the UPC Preparatory Committee, on the other hand highlighted the crucial role of the UPC trained judges: “If we want the Unified Patent Court to be amongst the best patent courts in the world, we need the best judges we can get. They are the most important asset of the court. To achieve that, training is essential.”
A list of prospective judges has been drawn up, but none has been selected yet.
The Unified Patent Court website has published pictures of the training centre.