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Lord Kitchin: life at the UK Supreme Court

Ed Conlon, London

The only justice with an IP background tells Managing IP how legal teams should test their arguments, that he balances reasoning and personal experience, and why he’ll be completely excluded from an upcoming FRAND trial


“I think it is reason, but without losing your humanity,” says Lord Kitchin when asked about his approach to UK Supreme Court cases. “It must primarily be analytical, but obviously your experience and sensitivities as a person can be brought to bear.”

Sitting in his office at the court, Kitchin is talking through a range of topics, from the dos and don’ts at trial, to how the justices operate, to the “enormous fun” he has had as a judge and barrister.

For IP specialists, all eyes are on the Unwired Planet v Huawei trial, which will be heard in October. The FRAND dispute has generated a lot of attention – from as far afield as China – and the court’s decision could have a highly significant global impact on this field.

In our exclusive interview, Kitchin tells us why he won’t play any role in the case and that, even if he did, his views wouldn’t necessarily “carry the day,” despite his expertise.  

To find out why, and hear Kitchin’s views on other issues including international collaboration between judges and why the UK Supreme Court is an innovator, read the full interview tomorrow, August 7 on

The previous two interviews in this series – with Mr Justice Arnold and the late Mr Justice Carr – can be found here and here.


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