Insights | May 3, 2023

UPC Mock Trial in Helsinki moderated by Johanna Lilja

The Finnish AIPPI Group organized a Unified Patent Court Mock Trial together with the Market Court of Finland on Friday 21 April 2023. Two Roschier lawyers participated; Partner Johanna Lilja, President of the Finnish AIPPI Group, as moderator and Counsel Juhani Sinkkonen as counsel to one of the parties.

The distinguished mock panel was composed of three legally qualified Unified Patent Court (UPC) judges with Judge Petri Rinkinen (FIN) as the Presiding Judge, Judge Sam Granata (BE) as the Judge rapporteur and Judge Stefan Johansson (SWE) as the third legally qualified judge. The panel also included Kirsikka Etuaho (FIN) as a technically qualified judge.

The parties to the mock trial case were represented by the Attorneys-at-law Juhani Sinkkonen from Roschier and Vilhelm Schröder from Hannes Snellman for the patentee’s side, and Saara Lapiolahti and Wilma Kivilä from Borenius for the alleged infringer’s side. The event was moderated by the President of the Finnish AIPPI Group (the national chapter of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property), Roschier Partner Johanna Lilja.

“A mock trial is an excellent way to learn and to see how a hearing before the UPC could look like. The new Court opens in June, and I look forward to seeing how the system and case law develops,” said Johanna Lilja.

The mock trial dealt with a “vacuum cleaner” case, which explored the issues on procedure, validity, and infringement in light of the upcoming UPC and unitary patent system. It kicked off with the interim conference and discussions on preliminary questions, chaired by the Judge rapporteur Granata. In the interim conference the parties presented their views on questions such as choice of forum, stay of the proceedings, carve-outs, as well as the hearing of witnesses and value of the case. The proceedings continued with the main hearing, where the invalidity action was heard first before continuing to the infringement action.

Each party had 15 minutes to argue their views on both of these issues. After a short coffee break, and the mock panel’s brief deliberations, the proceedings were concluded by the announcement of the “ruling”.

The mock panel first presented its view on the question of validity and on the question of infringement. In connection with this, various interesting questions related to the UPC and unitary patents were discussed for educational purposes. Among the questions discussed were how the court’s injunction orders should be worded within the UPC considering the different approaches adopted in different European jurisdictions.

Finally, the mock panel discussed the calculation methods for the damages and costs of the proceedings. After the mock panel had given its ruling, the audience, both on-site and online, had the opportunity to ask questions.

The UPC Mock Trial was sponsored by the European Patent Office. It was a great success with approximately 100 persons following the event either on-site or via live stream. The venue for the event was the Market Court’s premises in Helsinki, Finland, where the UPC Helsinki Local Division will begin to operate as of 1 June 2023.

Article written by Eero Liikanen, Associate at Roschier and Secretary of the Finnish AIPPI group.