In many countries, the relatively small number of patent litigation cases, the rotation of judges between different areas of law and the absence of specialist patent courts mean that high levels of judicial expertise in patent matters can be hard to find.
The work of the European Patent Academy therefore focuses on promoting legal expertise in the field throughout Europe. It co-ordinates training activities relating to the theory and practice of patent-related intellectual property, drawing on the skills and expertise of judges, public prosecutors, court experts, lawyers and patent attorneys practising before their national courts, as well as law enforcement officers working in the field of intellectual property.
Judges and other legal professionals need to be able to work from a common level of knowledge and understanding when communicating with their counterparts in other European countries. Our training events and discussion forums help participants gain a better understanding of the main themes, which in turn makes an important contribution to harmonising patent law application and litigation across Europe.
Our programme includes a variety of training activities, from seminars on regional IP enforcement and litigation to study visits to the EPO. Workshops provide an opportunity for judges with high patent caseloads to meet and share views on important issues of patent law application. This exchange of views helps us to identify new areas for future training.
Using the dedicated dialogue platforms, European judges can exchange information about best practice and new ideas in the sphere of patent litigation and in doing so make a major contribution towards standardising the application of patent law in the member states of the European Patent Organisation.