An International Guide to
Patent Case Management for Judges

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9.9.9 Trial Trial length, format and timetable

IPEC trials should last no more than two days (or at the most three days). As explained above in Section, it is anticipated that, post-COVID-19, trials will take place in person.

The court controls the conduct of the trials to ensure that the trial estimate is achieved. The parties are required to file a timetable for the conduct of the trial in advance, and, once approved by the court, this timetable is likely to be enforced strictly. Unless there is good reason not to, the court will allocate equal time to the parties.

Opening speeches, if necessary at all, are likely to be short, and, if the parties have prepared written skeleton arguments in advance of trial, it is not uncommon to proceed straight to the evidence. Unlike in the Patents Court, parties are usually not permitted to put documents to the witnesses (including expert witnesses) that are not already in the case.191 Also unlike in the Patents Court, trials in IPEC do not usually allow for time to prepare written submissions after the evidence, and closing arguments will usually follow immediately after the conclusion of the evidence.

In an appropriate case, and if the parties consent, the trial may be conducted on paper (i.e., there is no hearing). The judgment is delivered in the usual way once the judge has read the papers.