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Preview: Judge Brückner-Hofmann interview

Ed Conlon, London

The Düsseldorf District Court judge admits being upset when an appeal judgment is badly argued and discusses the 1,900% increase in design cases at her court


“There are a few cases in which the appeal judgment, in my view, is clearly wrong or badly argued,” says Johanna Brückner-Hofmann in reference to her decisions being overruled but there being no convincing reason in the findings.

Brückner-Hofmann, who chairs a three-member panel specialising in design and unfair competition law at the Düsseldorf District Court (Landgericht) in Germany, admits, however, that this is a rare occurrence. 

She and her co-panellists hear around 100 design cases and between 120 and 150 unfair competition disputes every year. In her early days as a judge, however, Brückner-Hofmann would hear no more than five design cases per year – 1,900% less than today’s 100. 

In this exclusive interview with the judge, who has worked at the court since 1995, you can discover:

Why her workload has increased and what her most significant cases have been;

How she views the appeal process, especially when her cases are overturned;

What she thinks about diversity and recruitment in the German judiciary;

How she handles working part-time in an increasingly demanding role;

What annoys her in court; and

How the German system differs to that of other countries.

The full interview will be published tomorrow, August 28. It will be the fourth in our series of judge interviews following our discussions with Mr Justice Arnold and the late Mr Justice Carr of the England and Wales High Court, and Lord Kitchin of the UK Supreme Court. 


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