The Centre for Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary University of London has started its intellectual property (IP) training programme for judges in Ukraine.
The two-year project was launched in 2018 and is led by Professor Ioannis Kokkoris and Dr Noam Shemtov, from Queen Mary’s Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS). Over the past 40 years CCLS has become a world leader in commercial law research and teaching.
Professor Kokkoris is also Dean for International for Queen Mary’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and a member of Queen Mary’s Global Policy Institute leadership team.
The work forms part of the radical transformation of the Ukraine’s legal system and is funded by the Joint Department for International Development (DFID) and Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) Good Governance Fund.
Since its launch in 2018 the project has been managed by Ms Maria Tymofienko, a PhD candidate at Queen Mary, who developed the project proposal as part of her research.
The launch of the training programme for newly appointed Ukrainian judges follows an extensive review of the legislative framework undertaken by Queen Mary’s experts, where they advised on best international practice.
Due to the on-going Covid-19 pandemic, the first part of the programme was delivered online in July by leading international IP judges, academics and practitioners and attracted over 100 participants from across Ukraine. Attendees included current judges that specialise on IP cases, candidates for the new IP Court and Members of the IP Appeal Chamber at the Ukrainian IP Office.
Maria Tymofienko was instrumental in securing the funding for the project and developed the initiative to adapt the training programme to the online format in response to Covid-19. The success of the distance learning programme for Ukraine’s judiciary has created interest in providing similar programmes as part of judicial capacity building projects.
The training programme aims to enable participants to extend their knowledge of best practice in leading IP jurisdictions across the world, and to implement these practices in their work in Ukraine. A second stage of the training programme will take place in September.
Since the 2014 revolution, Ukraine has launched and enacted more reforms than during the preceding twenty-five years. In 2015, the Ukrainian Government announced a large-scale transformation of the country’s judicial system and administration of justice. This included the reform of Ukraine’s Supreme Court, as well as the creation of specialised courts such as the High Court on Intellectual Property and the High Anti-Corruption Court.
Melinda Simmons, UK Ambassador to Ukraine said: “This training, which is led by renowned experts in the field and covers a wide range of essential topics, will hopefully equip the participants with skills to strengthen intellectual property rights in Ukraine and support the country’s economic development.
“The UK is proud to have funded this initiative and we will continue to support reform and strengthening of Ukraine’s judiciary. I would like to thank the Centre for Commercial Law Studies at Queen Mary University of London for all their hard work on putting together this course and for adapting it to be delivered online.”
Maria Tymofienko, Project Manager said: "We are delighted to receive very positive feedback from the participants of the online training programme both in terms of the accessibility of the online format and the its high quality (an average score of the training content given by the participants was 4.7 out of 5). The online format allowed us to extend the number of participants from 30 to 100, which is proving transformative in terms of the impact of the programme in Ukraine. We are delighted that our work is helping Ukraine’s Government to prioritise the creation of the IP Court."
Lord Nueberger, former President of the UK Supreme Court and Chairman of the International Advisory Board of the Ukraine IP Court Project said: “I hope this training programme will lead to tangible results so that the process of setting up the IP court will be finalised and the court will be operational in the near future. We hope that the judges of the new IP court will quickly become recognised as a respected part of the European and International judges’ community, and will be sharing their experiences in creating a fair and strong system of enforcement of IP rights for the benefit of dynamic, creative and innovative sectors, and foreign and domestic investors, in the Ukrainian economy.”
Dr Ruslan Stefanchuk, First Deputy Speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, added: “It is extremely important to accelerate the completion of the selection procedure of judges and ensure an immediate start of operation of the High Court of Intellectual Property, including the necessity to solve the issues in relation to its functioning, financing and logistics.
“We highly appreciate the initiative to train intellectual property judges by the Queen Mary University project and would like to thank everyone for supporting establishment of an Intellectual Property Court. I would like to express special gratitude to the British Embassy, the UK Ambassador to Ukraine, Melinda Simmons, and the President of the United Kingdom Supreme Court, Lord Neuberger.”
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