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UPC – New legally qualified judges appointed to the Munich and Mannheim Local Divisions

09 May 2024

Jennifer McDowell

Pinsent Masons

The UPC’s announcement of the appointment of three new legally qualified judges (LQJs) is significant, and reflects the increasing workload before the court

On 30 April 2024, the UPC announced that one new LQJ will be appointed to the Mannheim Local Division (LD), along with two new LQJs to the Munich LD.

As of 1 May 2024, the Munich LD currently handles over 37% of the total caseload of the UPC Court of First Instance. This breaks down as 46 infringement actions, 67 counterclaims for revocation, 12 applications for provisional matters, 1 application for preserving evidence and 1 declaration of non-infringement. With an increasing caseload, the Munich LD faces the challenge of balancing quality and speed in its decision making.

To address this challenge, the UPC has announced its intention to increase the workload of the part-time judges at the Munich LD as well as to appoint two additional LQJs, Ms Ulrike Voss and Mr Daniel Voss. Ms Voss, who currently serves as the presiding judge of the 15th Civil Senate responsible for patent litigation at the Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court, will also retain her position at the Munich Central Division of the UPC. Daniel Voss holds the position of presiding judge at the Dusseldorf Patent Chamber 4b. The UPC is expected to announce the date when these judges will officially assume their roles at a later time. This move reflects the court’s commitment to handling the growing caseload promptly, and stands the Munich LD in a better position to expedite hearings and streamline decision-making.

In addition, Dirk Böttcher, who is currently presiding judge of the 14th Civil Chamber at the Mannheim Regional Court, has been appointed as a LQJ of the Mannheim LD. A number of Standard Essential Patent lawsuits are pending before the Mannheim LD which is, at present, the third busiest division of the UPC, behind the Munich LD and Dusseldorf LD.

The announcement can be found here.