A new Patent and Market Court

The Swedish justice department earlier this year proposed in a memorandum a more unified and concentrated judicial system for cases related to intellectual property rights law, market law and competition law. This means that Sweden may have a new judicial system for the mentioned cases from 1 July 2015. A first round of referrals has already been completed earlier this year.
Some of the motifs behind the introduction of the new judicial system are that IPR, market and competition law issues are of great importance for an effective competition and a strong consumer protection. Further, it is important to establish modern and clear rules in this area of law, at the same time as a fair and effective trial of cases and a well working and uniform practice is at hand.
The above mentioned cases are some of the most complex and comprehensive cases that are dealt with in a Swedish court. Therefore, it is proposed that the trial of all these cases shall be held in a special court in first instance (Patents and Market Court) and in a special court in second instance (Patents and Market Supreme Court). The trials of these cases are today dispersed over several different courts, such as public courts, general administrative courts and specialised courts, such as the Court of Patent Appeals, although the judicial and principal relations between them are clear. Parallel trials, such as infringement and invalidation cases, in different courts are common. The scattered trials and the low number of trials (about 20 incoming civil patent cases per year) impair the possibility to deal with these cases in an efficient manner and with high quality.
According to the proposal the Stockholm District Court will be the Patent and Market Court and Svea Court of Appeal will be the Patent and Market Supreme Court. The Supreme Court will be the highest court of appeal and will be responsible for setting precedent. As a consequence the Court of Patent Appeals and the Market Court will cease to exist and the Supreme Administrative Court will no longer be the highest court of appeal.
There is further proposed a new law relating to patent and market courts. The new law comprises rules relating to process law, the composition of courts and the legal proceedings that are applicable.
The new judicial system will make the trials more easy to foresee and will improve the possibilities for the people working with these cases to specialise. A great advantage with the proposed system is that several cases can be cumulated in one and the same trial. // David Larsson  Read an in-depth article - published in Managing Intelletual Property, Europe IP Focus 2014

Authors: Anna Maria Lagerqvist, Thomas Ernby and Björn Pettersson