Three technically qualified judges (TQJ) have resigned prior to the start of operations of the Unified Patent Court.
According to a UPC announcement, Roman Maksymiw (DE), Grégoire Desrousseaux (FR) en Kirsikka Etuaho (FI) handed in their resignations received prior to 31 May 2023. The reason is not mentioned, but it is likely it is the consequence of the strict Code of Conduct of UPC Judges which the court adopted to avoid conflicts of interest (see also this blogpost).
Grégoire Desrousseaux stated this expressly on LinkedIn: ‘A few months ago, I informed you that I was appointed for part-time service, as a technically qualified judge (TQJ) at the Unified Patent Court (UPC). The UPC Code of Conduct was recently published. In my view, this Code of Conduct results in my current activities being largely incompatible with the position of a UPC TQJ. I thus resigned from this position and will continue working as an attorney and patent attorney. I will thus be fully able to assist and represent you not only before the EPO and the French Courts, but also before the UPC.’
Some observers thought more technically qualified judges – many of them attorneys from private practice and in-house company representatives who work for the UPC on a part-time basis and include – would resign, but this hasn’t happened.
Earlier this week, the court announced that all public APIs would be reactivated as of Tuesday 13 June 2023. ‘Thanks to the measures taken during the sunrise period (…) the overall capacity and performance of the CMS (API included) has been improved.
For the benefit of the overall community and our users, we kindly advise to make appropriate use of these APIs by making reasonable and useful requests to the CMS database. To optimize search time and result provided by the APIs it is recommended to define specific search parameters, including date ranges, patent numbers, case number, party name, etc.’
Nine UPC cases
Up to today, the Unified Patent Court has received nine cases. The first was lodged on at a central division on 2 June 2023 and is a revocation action concerning European Patent EP3666797.
The EPO published its first data on European patents with request for unitary effect. 600 patents were granted unitary effect and will be published in the next edition of the European Patent Bulletin.
‘In total, the EPO had received 800 requests for unitary effect by the end of May, as well as 4 500 requests for deferred publication of the grant of the European patent which will make those patents eligible for requesting unitary effect in June and early July.’