The Federal Court of Justice held that claim construction has absolute priority before issues of invalidity, such as the inadmissible extension or issues of patentability of the subject matter, can be discussed. The Court also reiterated that the determination of the subject matter of a patent (the invention) cannot be abandoned with the mere reason…

In one of the most highly observed patent cases in Europe in 2015, Case C-170/13, Huawei vs ZTE, the Court of Justice of the European Union with judgment of 16 July 2015 provided valuable and long-awaited guidance on the antitrust/FRAND defense in cases of standard essential patents (SEPs). The decision at the same time raised…

A new decision by the German Federal Court of Justice (X ZR 112/13 – Teilreflektierende Folie) provides another illustrative example of the FCJ’s fairly generous and applicant-friendly case law on the allowability of amendments and priority. The patent at stake was a European Patent directed to the use of an image projector, a reflective surface…

…well not really, but the German Federal Court of Justice has recently issued a decision (Kreuzgestänge, X ZR 103/13) that may expose Germany’s “Bifurcation System” to even more questions and criticism than in the past. Bifurcation is a term probably originating from geography and generally means “splitting of a main body into two parts”. An…

The Court held that a certain means does not relate to an essential element of the invention just because it is used for a step in the method preceding the patented steps of the method. Even where this is necessary in order to apply the method, no contributory infringement of the patent can be established….

In its decision Digitalblock (digital block) the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf (Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf) has discussed the question whether “sleeping” features of a device can cause patent infringement (judgement of 19 February 2015, docket No. I-15 U 39/14). The case was about set-top boxes for receiving free-to-air and encrypted television signals. The patent concerned a…

In this case the FCJ discussed the criterion of “equivalence” for a non-literal infringement of a patent. The Court held that one has to assess all technical effects which have to be achieved with the patented features to solve the underlying technical problem. The entire combination of these effects forms the patented solution. For the…

Some Late Summer Thoughts about Molten Polymers and two Decisions by the German Federal Court of Justice Now that the unusual heat of this summer in central Europe finally seems to have ended, it might be a good point in time to activate our cerebral bio-polymers again. So let us muse about the melting of…

The Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf (Higher Regional Court, appeal instance) just issued a court order on the admissibility of new prior art that the defendant discovered only in the second instance infringement proceedings. The defendant and appellant in the proceedings had requested a stay of the infringement appeal based on this new and relevant prior art until…