News

New Swedish Patent and Market Courts from 1 September 2016

August 18, 2016

How is your company affected by the new courts? What do the changes mean? The areas affected are intellectual property law, marketing law and competition law.

Cases and matters which were previously handled at the Patent Court of Appeals, the Market Court, the district courts and Svea Court of Appeal, as well as cases where the main hearing has not yet commenced will be transferred on 1 September 2016 to the new Patent and Market Courts and handled there in accordance with the new rules. The competence within these areas will be concentrated in order to improve the quality of court judgments.

“The change is expected to entail a greater degree of efficiency, flexibility and quality in the administration of justice. For example, the possibility to consolidate separate actions and matters will mean that parallel proceedings can be avoided. Issues within different but closely affiliated legal areas can also be consolidated. This will result in an expedited adjudication which is easier to grasp for the parties concerned,” says Håkan Borgenhäll, partner at Vinge and head of the Intellectual Property Law practice group in Stockholm. 

CASES AND MATTERS AFFECTED

The following types of cases and matters will fall under the jurisdiction of the Patent and Market Courts:

  • Intellectual property law cases and matters (such as patent and trade mark cases) which are currently tried before the courts of general jurisdiction, the district courts and the Patent Appeals Court;
  • Marketing law cases and matters which are currently tried before the courts of general jurisdiction and the Market Court;
  • Competition law cases which are currently tried before the courts of general jurisdiction and the Market Court; and
  • Cases concerning refusal of trade name registrations which are currently tried before the administrative courts.
HOW YOUR COMPANY IS AFFECTED

If your company is a party to or is otherwise affected by a pending case or matter at the Patent Appeals Court and the Market Court then you should take note of the forthcoming changes, including the automatic transfer to the Patent and Market Courts or, in some cases, to the general administrative courts. Those cases which have been decided by the Patent Appeals Court prior to 1 September 2016 can still be appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court according to the currently applicable rules.

Pending cases before the courts of general jurisdiction will be concluded in accordance with the same rules as they were originally commenced. However, this does not apply to cases at Stockholm District Court and Svea Court of Appeal which will be transferred to the new courts on 1 September. Accordingly, other intellectual property law cases before the courts of general jurisdiction will not be transferred to the new courts. 

“If you company is a party to an intellectual property, marketing law or competition law action then the new rules should be observed now,” says Håkan Borgenhäll.

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In addition to the new Patent and Market Courts, a new regional division of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) will also be formed for Sweden and the Baltic States. The Court will be based in Sweden. The UPC courts will have exclusive jurisdiction in relation to certain European patents and the Swedish division will be located adjacent to the new Patent and Market Courts. However, it is anticipated that the commencement date for the UPC will be delayed due to the result of the UK’s referendum to leave the UK. Read more about the UPC here.  

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