Use your experience in intellectual property to become a judge

20th Sep 2019

The Judicial Appointments Commission is recruiting two Appointed Persons, for trade marks and designs.


The Judicial Appointments Commission is recruiting for two roles: 

  • fee-paid Appointed Person, Appeal Tribunal, Trade Marks 
  • fee-paid Appointed Person, Appeal Tribunal, Registered and Unregistered Design

This is a rare opportunity for legal practitioners with knowledge and experience of intellectual property law to become a judge, called an Appointed Person in these 2 tribunals. These roles are fee-paid (part-time).

Appointed Persons hear appeals from decisions by officers of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), acting on behalf of the Comptroller of Patents, Designs and Trade Marks under the Registered Designs Act 1949, and the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, including those resulting from the IPO's opinions service. "Although the RDA 1949 makes reference to an appeal to the AP in relation to design opinions, this aspect of the role would only be operative in the event of further order being made to implement the regime"    

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 a:

  • Solicitor or barrister in England, Wales and Northern Ireland or
  • Solicitor or advocate in Scotland or
  • Those who have held judicial office or
  • Patent Attorney or a Trade Mark Attorney registered with the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, or the Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys for at least 5 years

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 in a case before it commences
  • deciding issues of law and procedure which may arise during a case
  • reviewing the decision under appeal, determining whether the relevant law has been applied to the facts found and (where appropriate) examining the facts from evidence presented and considering whether the decision was procedurally fair
  • giving a reasoned decision either orally at the hearing or subsequently 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 2nd October. More information about the roles and how to apply is on the JAC website.

Closing date for applications is 16th October at 1pm.