Unified Patent Court

Alexander Ramsay steps down as UPC Administrative Committee chair

The long-time chairman of the Preparatory and Administrative Committees, Alexander Ramsay, has resigned from his position at the Unified Patent Court. The Swedish native is once again concentrating on his duties as national judge. It is not clear yet whether the UPC is looking for a successor.

8 November 2022 by Mathieu Klos

Alexander Ramsay Alexander Ramsay has stepped down from his position as chairman of the UPC Administrative Committee - but he has not yet ruled out a return to the supranational court's frontline ©P.Venus/Capital Headshots Berlin

Alexander Ramsay, who has confirmed to JUVE Patent that he has stepped down from his role as UPC Administrative Committee chairman, had a decisive influence on the creation of the court for 14 years.

Alexander Ramsay a driving force

As early as 2008, he was involved in the preparations for the UPC, becoming vice chairman of the Preparatory Committee in 2013. From 2015, he led the preparations from this role. When, following Austria’s ratification of the PAP, the official preparatory phase of the court came into force in January 2022, the Administrative Committee replaced the Preparatory Committee. Ramsay then assumed leadership of the highest decision-making body.

The Administrative Committee is the assembly of UPC member states and has since been behind all major decisions regarding the court.

Now Ramsay’s previous deputy, Johannes Karcher, will continue to manage the business until further notice. According to the UPC website, Karcher is now acting chairman and deputy chairman of the Administrative Committee.

Back to Sweden

Alexander Ramsay, who is Swedish, was already active as a judge in Stockholm before his commitment to the UPC. In September 2016, Ramsay returned from his position at the Swedish Ministry of Justice back to the Swedish Patent and Market Court where he holds a full-time position. Due to the high double workload, he wants to again devote himself fully to this task.

Speaking to JUVE Patent, Alexander Ramsay said, “We now have incoming new executive leadership in the two presidents and the presidium judges, and also an increasing number of staff at the registry.

In addition, we have the stability of the colleagues of the working groups and my vice chair, Johannes Karcher. Against this backdrop I felt that the project has the stable leadership that would allow me to step down and for a while give priority to my family and my other affairs.”

However, Ramsay also did not rule out the possibility of a return to the UPC frontline.

Five full-time judges

In mid-October, the Administrative Committee mastered one of its biggest challenges with the announcement of the 34 legally and 51 technically qualified judges. It also clarified which individuals will take up important leadership positions.

Most of the 85 judges will initially work part-time for the UPC, while five judges will be full-time judges from the start. As the Administrative Committee confirmed to JUVE Patent, these are Klaus Grabinski (Germany) as the president of the Court of Appeal and Florence Butin (France) as the first president of the Court of First Instance. Furthermore, Camille Lignieres (France), Ronny Thomas and Peter Tochtermann (both Germany) will decide on appeals to local divisions. They are also in the presidium of the UPC.

New website launched

Since 7 November, the UPC website is also sporting a new look. It now contains, in addition to an overview of the court locations, information on the structure of the court system, its presidium and its governance.

Other important topics include the Case Management System (CMS) and the opt-out policy. Both the market and the UPC organisers consider these important issues, with the committee working to resolve a number of problems before the court is launched, as recently stated by in-house representatives and patent attorneys. According to current plans, the court will begin its work on 1 April 2023.