Goods placed in transit proceedings do not infringe a patent in the transit country. It is not relevant whether the goods were placed in so-called “T1” external transit proceedings or in “T2” transit proceedings where goods are declared to be released for free circulation on the market of the European Union and are forwarded without sealing. Patent infringement may only be assumed if the goods are subject to a sales transaction in the transit country or if the goods are imported for this purpose. This must be examined on a case-by-case basis.
The Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) held that where a defendant in a patent infringement action has been found to be liable for infringement in a decision that is preliminarily enforceable but subject to appeal, it is generally necessary to suspend enforcement of this decision under Secs. 719 (2) and 707 Code of Civil Procedure against security if the patent in suit has been held invalid by the Federal Patent Court (first instance) in a nullity action. This also applies in further appeal proceedings before the FCJ (second instance).
In preliminary injunction proceedings: to fulfil the requirement of urgency a patentee must actively and with determination enforce the patent. A patentee does not have to wait for the outcome of nullity proceedings if a generic company has launched an infringing product on the market, thereby causing irreparable harm to patentee.
As a rule, an applicant has a right to inspection of respondent’s premises in order to prepare a claim for damages due to illegal exploitation of secret know-how. The applicant must designate construction plans which are to be inspected, otherwise the request for inspection will not be sufficiently precise and clear under Sec. 253(2) CCP. The applicant must prove a “certain likelihood” that its claim to damages based on illegal exploitation of secret know-how is justified. The right to inspection shall not allow an applicant to conduct a “fishing expedition”.
(1) If a plaintiff can prove there was an “offering” of means for the patented purposes, it can be assumed that the means were also delivered for those purposes, and that therefore the plaintiff has a right to claim damages and the provision of information due to indirect infringement.
(2) When a patent is assigned during pending patent infringement proceedings, the right of the assignee to claim damages shall arise starting on the date of the assignment agreement, and not on the date of registration.
If the patentee has granted an exclusive license after filing an infringement action, an exclusive licensee is (in part) a legal successor of the patentee. Therefore, as long as the patentee’s claims are pending at another German court, the exclusive licensee has no right to sue with regard to the same subject matter due to the force of res judicata of the judgment against the legal successor and the lis pendens rule. The final decision against the patentee will have binding effect against the licensee as well.
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