Revised Guidelines on Independence effective as of 1 January 2015

As already indicated earlier, the decision 4A_142/2013 of the Supreme Court prompted changes to the Guidelines on Independence. The new Guidelines have been published recently and are effective as of 01 January 2015.

Please find below a tracked-changes version that I have compiled based on the English translations of the former Guidelines and the revised Guidelines. Note that these English translations are provided by the FPC for information purposes only; they have no legal force. Anyhow, besides some editorial amendments, you will readily note the — in my personal opinion — most important changes:

  • Expectedly, Art. 4 now also extends to the company for which the court member works.
  • Art. 5 has been deleted. Former Art. 5 held that purely administrative activities for achieving or maintaining the validity of the Swiss part of a European patent of one of the parties (not the patent in dispute) was not deemed to constitute a ground for recusal. Now, such activities are included in the list of special grounds for recusal (see Art. 4, lit. g).

It will be interesting to see how the FPC will actually apply these revised Guidelines — and how they stand the test of daily grind.

Download (PDF, 204KB)

I have also compiled a tracked-changes version based on the official German versions of the former and the revised Guidelines:

Download (PDF, 205KB)

Martin Wilming

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