Joint Lunch Seminar with Esther van Zimmeren

Esther van Zimmeren
Research Professor Intellectual Property Law & Governance University of Antwerp, Research Group Government & Law

Trust in the Unified Patent Court (UPC):
A Pilot Study for Empirical Research in Patent Law

Joint Lunch Seminar iCourts, CeBIL and CIIR, March 7th, 2018 12:15-13:15


The institutional design of the European patent system will soon change significantly once the “Patent Package” will finally fully enter into force. As a consequence a new type of “unitary” patent protection and a new centralized, highly specialized court, the “Unified Patent Court” (hereinafter UPC) will be created. At many occasions, it has been noted that the success of the UPC will largely depend on “public trust” or more specifically the “trust of the patent user community” in the UPC. However, commentators who refer to the importance of trust in this context do not clarify what they mean by “trust”, nor do they disentangle the form, causes and potential of trust with respect to such a new, highly specialized court system.

The literature on trust within the context of judicial governance is rather limited. Although some research exists on public trust (trust of ordinary citizens) in courts and on trust between courts, we do not know to what extent and how trust based on expertise is relevant for the legitimacy and effectiveness of new judicial organizations in the context of a highly specialized legal regime like patent law.

The main objectives of this presentation are to present the set-up for a pilot study for empirical research by way of a survey amongst patent practitioners related to trust in the UPC, to receive feedback on the set-up of the pilot study and to explore opportunities for collaboration on this type of research.

Short Bio

Esther VAN ZIMMEREN is a research professor at the University of Antwerp in the area of IP law & Governance. Her research focuses on patent law, trademark law, copyright law, EU law, competition law, international trade law and governance issues. She combines theoretical research with some more empirical work and enjoys working in an interdisciplinary, international team.

She has been a visiting scholar at various universities and research institutes around the world: Berkeley Center for Law and Technology of the University of California (Berkeley) (2008); the Institute of Intellectual Property (IIP) (Tokyo) (2008); the Brocher Foundation (Geneva) (2011); Hanken School of Economics and Aalto University (Helsinki) (2012); Duke University (Durham) (2013) and Gakushuin University (Japan) (2013).

Before she started working at the University of Antwerp, Esther was a research fellow (PhD 2011 and post-doc) at the Centre for Intellectual Property Rights (2004-2013) at the University of Leuven (Belgium) and Assistant Professor at the University of Liège. Between 2002-2004, she worked for two years as a legal assistant for Judge A.W.H. Meij at the at the General Court of the EU in Luxembourg in the area of European trademark and competition law.

Time:  7 March 2018, 12:15-13:15

Place: iLab - room 6B-4-66, Faculty of Law, Njalsgade 76, DK-2300 Copenhagen S

Registration: For participation in this lecture please use this registration form no later than 7 March 2018, 10:00.