Do you want to be a UPC judge? Application process now open!

If it wasn't for the requirement
to provide references, Merpel
would have already submitted
her UPC judge's application...
On Monday, the UPC's Preparatory Committee announced the opening of the judicial recruitment process for legally and technically qualified judges of the Unified Patent Court.  The deadline for applications is the auspicious date of 4 July 2016.  The announcement can be found here.  The legally qualified judges announcement states that:
"Candidates shall possess the qualifications required for appointment to judicial offices in the Member State of which they are nationals. Reference is made to the official information provided in the Information on the selection process of UPC judges.
  • extensive experience in the field of patent litigation,
  •  initiative, high degree of commitment and self-motivation and a proactive approach to ensure efficiency and high quality of proceedings at the UPC,
  • the ability to work both independently and as part of a judicial panel or specialist team, and to meet tight deadlines,
  • well-developed written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills,
  • strong analytical skills,
  • the capacity to work in a multinational and multilingual environment.
The UPC offers attractive salaries, allowances, social benefits and a pension scheme comparable to that offered at other international courts. The net monthly salary for this vacancy is of EUR 11 000 for full-time judges at the Court of First Instance and of 12 000 for full-time judges at the Court of Appeal."

The selection process is outlined in a separate document here.  The AmeriKat, ever eager to put her multi-color Sharpie selection to good use, has pulled together the key points (see left, click to enlarge).  Although no surprise, the document also states that:

"Command of languages is an important criterion, and candidates fluent in more than one official EPO language will have an advantage in comparison to candidates fluent in one official EPO language only. Please note that an independent assessment of language skills, based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, can be used in order to evaluate a candidate’s suitability for the post."

As stated above, one of the eligibility criteria is that for the legally qualified judicial post, candidates must meet the requirements for appointment to judicial offices in their respective Contracting Member States.  Detailed information for the requirements for each Contracting Member State is set out in yet another document here (the award for the longest list of requirements goes to Austria!).

Another interesting point is in relation to the Article 17(2) exception of the Unified Patent Court Agreement which states that:
"Legally qualified judges, as well as technically qualified judges who are full-time judges of the Court, may not engage in any other occupation, whether gainful or not, unless an exception is granted by the Administrative Committee."
Candidates for part-time legally qualified judges have to request this exception if they wish to remain in private practice.  However, no exception will be granted to candidates who serve as members of the Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) and who wish to remain members of the Board.

To apply click here.
Do you want to be a UPC judge? Application process now open! Do you want to be a UPC judge? Application process now open! Reviewed by Annsley Merelle Ward on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 Rating: 5


  1. It makes an interesting read. Note there is a specific ban on acting simultaneously as a member of the EPO Boards of Appeal and UPC legal judge (presumably technical judge too). One requirement is that "(c)andidates shall possess the qualifications required for appointment to judicial offices in the Member State of which they are nationals. This is a high bar here in the UK (though the paucity of information in the accompanying literature does not make this clear). It is not clear to me even whether UK members of the Boards of Appeal have such qualifications, which would be crazy. That august body would seem to provide a reservoir of candidates, though they'd have to learn a bit about infringement.

  2. And another thing, what is contracting state EL?

  3. EL is Greece:


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