Court on camera


Katie Coltart

Court on camera

Blazej Lyjak /

Barking dogs and muting mics: one of the first-ever virtual UK patent court hearings was a success, as Katie Coltart of Kirkland & Elis explains.

The Kirkland & Ellis London IP litigation team had its first-ever Skype hearing with the English Patents Court recently, in view of the current COVID-19 pandemic. It ran very smoothly.

The parties’ barristers and solicitors dialled in 15 minutes in advance and were joined by the judge’s clerk. The usual pre-hearing chit-chat ensued. The judge’s imminent arrival was later announced by the clerk, who then turned off her camera. Barristers and the judge had their cameras on at all times and microphones on while speaking.

Solicitors had cameras off (phew) and mics muted. The judge, Mr Justice Birss, was in robes but the barristers wore suits—at least from the waist up (there was no standing to bow).

Kirkland & Elis, virtual court, patents, coronavirus, COVID-19, IP litigation, judiciary, Mr Justice Birss, remote working