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FCJ: Goods Placed in “Internal” Transit Proceedings Do Not Infringe a Patent Right

by Anja Petersen-Padberg

The Federal Court of Justice decided in the “Electric Kettle” case (25.06.2014, docket X ZR 72/13) that the placing of goods in transit proceedings does not infringe a patent right in Germany as the country of transit. The court stressed that it is of no relevance 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 [...]

Enantiomer “Repaglinide” found to lack Inventive Step in Germany

by Stephan Disser

The German Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) has just issued its written decision in the case “Repaglinid” (X ZR 128/09). As far as can be seen, the decision is not yet available on the FCJ’s website www.bundesgerichtshof.de. The FCJ rejected the patent proprietor’s appeal against the decision of the Federal Patent Court revoking the German part of EP 0 589 874 for lack of inventive step. The decision contains some interesting aspects regarding the assessment of inventive step by the FCJ in the pharma field and in general.

Claimed in the patent-in-suit is the use of an enantiomer (Repaglinide) as active substance in the preparation of a long-term antidiabetic agent charact [...]

Federal Court of Justice: Claims Normally Cover at Least one Embodiment

by Niels Hölder and Thomas Koch

In “Zugriffsrechte” (Rights of Access) (docket X ZR 35/11), the Federal Court of Justice decided that a claim can in principle not be construed such that it covers none of the embodiments described in the specification.

To simplify the facts, the claim in question specified two process steps. The Federal Patent Court had interpreted the claim so as to require that the steps are performed in the specific order mentioned in the claim, thereby rendering the subject matter novel over the prior art where this specific order had not been disclosed (docket 5 Ni 67/09). However, in all of the embodiments described in the specification, those steps were applied in [...]

A Little German Christmas Present and some Year’s End Reflections

Thanks to Miquel Montaña’s brilliant Christmas post, we have learnt a lot about the lucina sine (aut cum) concubitu and the legal impact her involvement may have had for the application of Directive 98/44/EC to the event leading to the holidays that we have just been celebrating. While I must admit that even after having read Miquel’s lucid post, I am still not a hundred percent clear on whether Jesus in statu embryonis would have fallen under article 6(2) of Directive 98/44/EC, I can at least confidently say that I am satisfied with the fact that certain questions are probably unanswerable and that the CJEU has generously left this one for the national courts to decide.

Which brings us [...]

“Que le pouvoir arrête le pouvoir” – From Montesquieu to Battistelli

Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu knew it all as early as 1748: “Experience teaches that every human being who has the power tends to abuse it. Therefore, it is necessary that the power sets limits to the power. There are three things in every state authority: the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. There is no freedom, if they are not separated from each other.”

Okay, why should a French President in 2014 bother about what one of his learned countrymen wrote in a book in the baroque times? Perhaps because it still matters. On 3 December 2014 the President of the EPO had one member of the Boards of Appeal escorted out of the Office by his “Investigation Unit” and imposed a “ [...]

Proprietor’s Plea of Ply Patent Prevails (or: The Problem with the Problem, Part II)

by Anne Katrin Schön

On 12 June of this year, the German Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) in Karlsruhe concluded nullity appeal proceedings (X ZR 96/11) against the German part of European patent EP 1 071 556 B1 by dismissing the nullity action and upholding the patent as granted. Overruling the first-instance judgment 1 Ni 19/09 of the Federal Patent Court (FPC), with which the patent had been declared null and void in its entirety, the FCJ confirmed principles of established case law both regarding novelty and inventive step. Prior to the German nullity proceedings, the European Patent Office (EPO) had rejected an opposition against the patent. A comparison between the EPO, FPC and FCJ deci [...]

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