Tuesday 17 January 2012

Electronic Courtroom

This senate is not yet digitalized
Yesterday, I had my first opportunity to experience the new "electronic courtroom" at the Bundespatentgericht - on which I had reported here earlier.

The room still smells very new (carpet glue I guess) and is quite fancy. All the Judges and the parties have a big monitor embedded in their tables which would allow them to have a shared view on an electronic document. Further, the documents are displayed on a big flat screen on the wall.

Unfortunalely, we were caught by surprise to be in that room as we did not receive any advance notice and did not bring any electronic documents and neither the judges nor any other party has desired to share any document such that everything besides of the black screens on the tables was as usual.

This appears to be a general caveat. Only two out of the approximately 15 (ß) courtrooms of the Bundespatentgericht are electronically equipped and these are occupied by two "resident" senates (one technical appeal senate - in our case the 19th - and one nullity senate) respectively. Since the other senates have not yet digitalized their files, thay may not use this courtroom even in the unlikely case that it would not be occupied by its resident senates.

As a consequence, there is no opportunity to use the new electronic courtroom even upon request unless your case is handled by one of the four (the 19th and 3 still unknown) "digitalized" senates.

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