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Procedural order, 25 January 2024 – Düsseldorf Local Division – UPC_CFI_452/2023

At the request of a patentee, the Düsseldorf Local Division issued an order on provisional measures without hearing the defendant. The decision was handed down by three legally qualified judges on 11 December 2023.

At the defendant’s request, the order was then submitted to a review procedure in accordance with Rule 212.3 of the Rules of Procedure. In the course of the review proceedings, the defendant raised a number of arguments relating to the invalidity of the patent.

In a procedural decision dated 25 January 2024, the Local Division deemed it necessary to request the appointment of a technically qualified judge.

In its decision, the Local Division notes that Rule 34 of the Rules of Procedure allows the appointment of an ex officio technical judge only in the context of proceedings on the merits, and not in proceedings for provisional measures or review. However, it notes that Article 8(5) of the Unified Patent Jurisdiction Agreement provides for this possibility more broadly.

It also considers that if the local division were called upon to rule on the validity of the patent in the context of the proceedings on the merits, a technically qualified judge would automatically be involved in the case. It therefore considers that it seems “sensible and advisable” for such a technically qualified judge to be involved in the provisional measures proceedings.

The decision therefore asks the President of the Court of First Instance to assign a technically qualified judge with expertise in the technical field of the patent in question to the review proceedings.

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