By Bernward Zollner
Every now and then it is suggested that a picture or pictures be incorporated in a mo-tion of a complaint against the defendant requesting defendant to cease and desist from a certain activity (being a patent or a copyright infringement) so that defendant’s activity by described more clearly. A recent decision of the German Bundesgerichtshof recalls a particular risk which is linked with a motion in which reference is made to pictures. The risk is the missing clarity (definiteness) of a court decision which is based on such a motion. Even if plaintiff has submitted clear and definite photos with the motion it is up to the court to draw copies from the motion for the vari [...]
by Stefan Lieck
Based on the act for simplification and modernization of Patent Law (“Patentrechts-modernisierungsgesetz”) patent nullity proceedings in Germany have been reformed fundamentally in order to accelerate the appeal proceedings significantly. Therefore, the Federal Patent Court (“Bundespatentgericht”) that is responsible in the first instance shall determine the facts of the case exclusively whereas the Federal Court of Justice (“Bundesgerichtshof”) which is responsible in the appeal proceedings is generally limited to deal only with the legal issues of the case.
To determine the facts of the case the Federal Patent Court shall provide the parties with information on the relevant [...]
by Stephan von Petersdorff-Campen
Under section 7 (1) of the Law on Employee Inventions (ArbErfG), all the rights in an invention made by an employee in the context of his employment relationship pass to the employer by virtue of law as soon as the employer announces his claim to the invention. With its “Initialidee” (Initial idea) judgment of 12.04.2011 (case X ZR 72/10), the BGH (Federal Court of Justice) ruled that the rights in a patent which the employee has already filed in his own name contrary to this statutory transfer of rights are not covered by the statutory transfer of rights. Before that, this had been treated differently by the courts. Until then, all that was needed was a cor [...]
by Hetti Hilge
The District Court Cologne made some interesting remarks on the requirements of a seizure by the police on a trade show (decision of 6 May 2013, 116 QS 12/13 an, 116 Js 788/12). Under German law, a willful patent infringement constitutes a criminal act so that the public prosecution and the police are generally competent to investigate. On trade shows, seizures of products which are alleged to infringe patents or other IP rights are often based on criminal law, and for some trade shows the police are present during the whole time in order to be able to act promptly. As the police officers regularly have no detailed knowledge of patent law, they usually rely on the partial expl [...]
A recent decision of the Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht) Düsseldorf now confirms that a holding company cannot easily dive away under the patent infringing activities of its subsidiaries.
Many companies are designed in the form of a group, having a holding company at the top and a number of subsidiaries which are directly or indirectly owned by the holding company. Different working areas are split between the companies of the group.
If one of these subsidiaries infringes a patent, the question arises whether and to what extent the holding itself is responsible for the infringement. Is the holding liable to compensation of damages? Does the holding have to render accoun [...]
by Rüdiger Pansch for rospatt osten pross
Assuming that “it is sensible for national courts at least to learn from each other and to seek to move towards, rather than away from, each other’s approaches” (Lord Neuberger, Schütz vs Werit, House of Lords judgment of 13 March 2013 at no. 40,  UKSC 16) how does this work in practice?
We have had the privilege to witness a very instructive exchange of views between the German and English Courts through all instances on an identical legal problem (albeit not between identical parties): the line to be drawn between permitted repair of a patented object and its remanufacturing which constitutes patent infringement. We have described th [...]