Unitary Patents, the Unified Patent Court and Alternative Dispute Resolution: The future role of the Patent Mediation and Arbitration Centre (PMAC)

Just in a few months the Unified Patent Court is expected to open its doors and litigation can start under the new system. While final preparations are on its way at all levels, in particular with regard to the IT-System for the case management (CMS), the future role of the Patent Mediation and Arbitration Centre (PMAC) in the UPC-system is far from clear. This online seminar is designed to approach that open question. After a presentation of the PMAC and its place within the UPC-regime by judge Sam Granata, various practitioners will discuss how the PMAC may be used and what could be done to take full advantage of this mediation and arbitration option.

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Judge Samuel Granata
Judge Granata sits on the Court of Appeal of Antwerp (Belgium)(IP Chamber) and at the Benelux Court of Justice (Luxembourg)(Second Chamber – Appeals against decision of the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property).  He is an external legal member of the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) and President of the Disciplinary Board of the Institute of Belgian Patent Agents. 

Judge Granata is a member of the Conseil Benelux de la Propriété Intellectuelle and a permanent member of the Belgian Federal Advisory Board for Intellectual Property (industrial property section). 

He was recently appointed as (part time) Legally Qualified Judge to the Local Division of the Unified Patent Court in Brussels (Belgium). In the drafting process of the Rules Of Procedure of the UPC, he played an active role in the (sub) Legal Working Groups of the UPC on the Rules of Procedure and the Patent Mediation and Arbitration Center.

Before his appointment as judge, he was an IP-lawyer/mediator and university assistant at the Catholic University of Law (Louvain, Belgium).


Prof. Maximilian Haedicke (Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg, Germany)
Maximilian Haedicke is professor for Intellectual Property Law at Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg, Germany. He studied law in Munich, Geneva and Washington D.C. (LL.M. Georgetown 1995, New York Bar Exam 1995).Since 2003 he is tenured professor at Albert-Ludwigs-University in Freiburg where he holds a Chair for Intellectual Property and Competition Law. Since 2008 he is the secretary of the Patent Committee and since 2015 also of the Biotech Committee of the German Association for the Protection of Industrial Property and Copyright (GRUR). Between 2011 and March 2017 he has also been a Judge at the Patent Division of the Court of Appeals in Düsseldorf. Being an accredited mediator (according to the German Mediation Act, WIPO and CEDR), he is also active in the field of alternative dispute resolution.


Steve Akerley, Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, Head of Intellectual Property and Litigation at Interdigital, USA

Steve Akerley has litigated and tried patent cases for 30 years. From 1992 through 2019, Steve was in private practice, representing both patent owners and accused infringers in cases across the US, before the International Trade Commission, and before numerous international tribunals.  In 2020, Steve became the global head of litigation at InterDigital, a research and development company focused on wireless and video technologies. In 2021, Steve was also named head of intellectual property at InterDigital and now oversees strategy and management of the company’s large, global patent portfolio.


ZiAng Zhuang, Director, IP & Litigation, Legal Counsel at Xiaomi Technology

ZiAng Zhuang is Director of IP litigation in the legal department of Xiaomi. ZiAng Zhuang is supervising the litigation team responsible for patent litigation, overseas trade mark litigation and other significant litigation and dispute resolutions. ZiAng is leading a team dedicated in handling the increasing challenges caused by intellectual property litigations for Xiaomi both in China and global markets. ZiAng also advises in intellectual property licensing and transactions, open source compliances and various government investigation proceedings.

Before joining Xiaomi, ZiAng Zhuang worked as a legal counsel of patent licensing and litigation at BOE Technology Group. 

ZiAng received his degree in Law from South China University of Technology and a Master in Law from Huazhong University of Science and Technology.


Ryan C. Richardson, Director Electronics Practice and Trial & Appellate Practice at Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, USA

Ryan C. Richardson is a director in Sterne Kessler’s Electronics and Trial & Appellate Practice Groups. Ryan’s practice focuses on post-grant proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), as well as U.S. district court litigation and International Trade Commission (ITC) litigation. Ryan has handled almost one hundred contested cases before the PTAB involving technologies ranging from semiconductor fabrication and geographic information systems, to wireless communications. He is experienced in representing both patent owners and petitioners. Ryan also regularly represents both Complainants and Respondents across a wide range of technologies in Section 337 investigations before the ITC. He is an experienced litigator who has examined witnesses at trial, presented at Markman hearings, and tried cases before the PTAB. Further, Ryan specializes in a variety of Standard Essential Patent (SEP) related issues ranging from procurement to litigation, and also including SEP licensing with respect fair reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) obligations.

Join us virtually on 10 January, 03:30 – 5:30 pm CET

and discuss with experts the possibilities ADR can offer within the future european patent landscape.The event will be virtually only. Upon registration you will receive an e-mail with access link and further information on how to join.