Maximilian Haedicke Named Unified Patent Court Judge

University of Freiburg legal scholar to work in shaping the newly established European institution

Maximilian Haedicke of the Faculty of Law of the University of Freiburg is going to become a UPC judge on 1 June 2023. The court is a new European institution. It will rule on infringement and validity of patents in accordance with the European Patent Convention (EPC) and the new Unified Patent Court Agreement. The court’s decisions will have immediate effect for all 17 participating EU countries. Until now, patents have only been enforceable in individual countries, meaning that patent holders were required to pursue separate litigation in Europe. The UPC and the Unitary Patent that is to come into effect at the same time will simplify this considerably. Says Haedicke, "The coming into force of the Unified Patent Court represents a major change in European patent law." Furthermore, it promotes the protection of innovation. A selection committee proposed the judges, which were then confirmed by the respective countries. Haedicke is the only full-time professor that has been named a UPC judge. He will continue his research and teaching activities at the University of Freiburg alongside his judicial office.

Current of change in patent law

The UPC, together with the introduction of the Unitary Patent has stirred currents of change in the area of patent legislation. "It is a unique opportunity to contribute to this historic process," says Haedicke. This is because there is an opportunity to establish new law, adds the professor. The UPC will be the first European court with which private individuals are eligible to file lawsuits. The court has procedural rules that incorporate elements of varied legal traditions, representing a further, decisive step towards harmonising law in the European Union. How the court operates is also new. UPC records are to be fully digitised and most procedure will unfold online with the help of an advanced case management system.

Expert for patent law

Haedicke studied in Munich, Geneva, and Washington, D.C. After that, he worked - among other places - at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition in Munich. Since 2003, he has been Professor of Intellectual Property Law at the University of Freiburg.  From 2011 to 2017, he was a judge specialising in patent law at the patent division of the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf.