Monday, 1 February 2010

Jury trials for patents: where in the world?

Amy Landers (Associate Professor of Law, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, USA) writes:
"I've reviewed many of the EC's documents to date and (unless I've missed something) cannot find any reference to introducing any triable issues to a jury. Do we believe that no such term will be forthcoming? The current proposal discusses the composition and qualifications of the judges only.

I'm in the US, there is a right to jury trial in patent (and other IP cases) on issues of infringement and validity. Is that so in many European states as well?".
Offhand I can't think of any jurisdictions in the world other than the United States that have jury trials on issues of validity and infringement, but it's more prudent to check than to give an answer that's wrong. If any reader knows of any such jurisdiction, can he or she please let PatLit know?

1 comment:

James Wagner said...

It is theoretically possible in Canada to have a jury trial for a patent case, if brought in a Provincial court. I am not aware of any such case though. This is likely because the overwhelming majority of patent cases in Canada are brought in the Federal Court which has no provision for a jury.

Further, even if brought Provincially, a jury request would have to be made, and the Judge could deny the request. There is no 'right' to a jury trial as in the USA for patent cases. The right to a jury exists only for serious criminal cases, and in some Provinces, civil cases based on slander or defamation.