Training Centre for European patent judges opened in Budapest

13 March 2014

A dedicated Training Centre for the Unified Patent Court (UPC) was officially opened today in Budapest. The centre will function as a coordinating office for the training of judges and candidate judges of the new court system which, together with the unitary patent, is expected to start operating in 2015.
"The opening of the training centre for judges is another step forward in putting in place a unified patent litigation system for the benefit of inventors and industry in Europe," said Benoît Battistelli, President of the European Patent Office (EPO), in his welcome address at a conference to mark the centre's opening. "The recognition of the jurisdiction of the new court by users will be a core element for the success of the unitary patent system. The EPO, with its long experience in training patent specialists, will offer its expertise and knowledge to facilitate the creation of a new centralised jurisdiction for patents in Europe."  

"The establishment of the new patent system, which will greatly increase the global competitiveness of the European economy, indisputably owes a great deal to the serious efforts of the Hungarian EU Presidency," said Zoltán Cséfalvay, Minister of State for the National Economy of Hungary. "That is why EU member states participating in the new patent system unanimously decided that patent judges who have a key role in the value chain of innovation be trained in Budapest."

In his keynote speech, Paul van Beukering, Chairman of the UPC Preparatory Committee, said: "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."

"We are delighted to support our European Trade Mark and Design Network colleagues, HIPO, in this important event," said António Campinos, President of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, in his welcome speech. "Intellectual Property - in all its forms - is a driver of growth and jobs. Our IP Contribution Study, released last year with our EPO partners, showed that IP rights intensive industries - patents, trademarks, designs, geographical indications and copyright - generate more than a quarter of employment and more than a third of economic activity in the EU. We know IP is good for our EU economy, and this is another important step in strengthening it."

Speaking about the Hungarian patent system, Miklós Bendzsel, President of the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office, said: "The system will be 120 years old in 2015. In the European innovation processes Hungary does not merely provide a creative workshop for products like Rubik's Cube, glass concrete or the intelligent surgical knife (iKnife); but our country is among the best as regards the contribution of IP intensive industries to the GDP and to employment." Mr Bendzsel added: "All this provides an excellent background for the operation of a Training Centre for judges working within the system established for the European patent with unitary effect. Budapest ensures a high quality framework for the nurturing of this new legal practice combining technical, legal and economic knowledge."

At the two-day conference (13/14 March), participants will discuss not only the role and functioning of the new training centre, but also the unitary patent and the system of new European patent courts.
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