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Apply to become an intellectual property judge

2 October 2019

The Judicial Appointments Commission is recruiting for two part-time fee-paid roles:

  • appointed person, Trade Marks Appeal Tribunal
  • appointed person, Registered and Unregistered Design Appeal Tribunal

This is a rare opportunity for legal practitioners with knowledge and experience of intellectual property law to become a judge (called an appointed person).

Appointed persons hear appeals from decisions by officers of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), including those resulting from the IPO's opinions service.

Both tribunals share the jurisdiction for appeals with the High Court in England and Wales, the Court of Session in Scotland and the High Court in Northern Ireland.

Who can apply

To apply, you’ll need at least five years’ post-qualification experience as one of the following:

  • a solicitor or barrister in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • a solicitor or advocate in Scotland
  • those who have held judicial office
  • a patent attorney registered with the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys
  • a trade mark attorney registered with the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys

Candidates must have knowledge of intellectual property law and experience of applying the law.

About the roles

The main activities for both roles include:

  • reading and assimilating papers before the case starts
  • deciding issues of law and procedure
  • determining whether the relevant law has been applied to the facts
  • examining the facts from evidence presented
  • considering whether the decision was procedurally fair
  • giving a reasoned decision either orally at the hearing or in writing
  • giving directions for the conduct of cases including cases to be transferred to the High Court or referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union
  • assessing and making awards of costs

Applications open on Wednesday 2 October.

The closing date for applications is Wednesday 16 October.

Find out more about the roles and how to apply