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January 7, 2014

Proposal strengthens position of Danish specialist IP Court

The Danish specialist IP Court, the Maritime- and Commercial Court (Sø- og Handelsretten), is the only Danish Community Trade Mark and Design Court and has competence to hear matters where the trademark , design or patent acts are of significant importance.

On 11 December 2013 the Minister of Justice presented a proposal to amend the Administration of Justice Act to extend this competence to include also matters where the copyright act with regard to the protection of applied arts or the marketing act are of significant importance.

At the same time, however, the possibility to appeal decisions of the Maritime- and Commercial Court to the Supreme Court is proposed to become limited to situations where the matter is of principal nature and has general importance for application or development of the law, or otherwise significant implications to society. In other situations the decisions of the Maritime- and Commercial Court can be appealed to the High Court.

If adopted, the proposal will strengthen the position of the Maritime- and Commercial Court as a specialist IP court nationally as well as internationally. The extension of the competence of the court will in practice compile all Danish IP matters with the Maritime- and Commercial Court, and appeal to the High Court will open up the possibility to have the appeal case heard either by a panel of legal jud­ges or a panel of legal and expert judges depending on the nature of the matter, where today appeal cases before the Supreme Court can be heard by a panel of legal judges only.

The amendment is foreseen to enter into force on 1 February 2014.

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