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Germany: Kommunikationskanal, Federal Court of Justice 11 February 2014

The FCJ held that the priority of an earlier application may be rightfully claimed if the technical information described for a specific embodiment or otherwise in in the application is seen by the skilled person as an example for the more general invention disclosed in the later application and if this more general teaching was disclosed in the prior application as part of the invention.

The full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law.

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Germany: Anthocyanverbinding, Federal Court of Justice 10 December 2013

The FCJ held that legal provisions in force at the priority date must be taken into consideration when assessing novelty and inventive step of an invention. These legal provisions may incite the skilled person to work in a certain direction so that this makes the invention obvious.

The full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer IP Law.

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Infringement proceedings outside Germany do not provide justification for a negative declaratory action in Germany regarding the same European patent

The Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf has ruled in its decision of 20 March 2014 (docket number 12 W 8.14) that an explicit allegation of entitlement to a national part of a European patent, e.g. by sending a warning letter or the filing of a court action, does not include an implicit allegation of entitlement (stillschweigende Berühmung) to the other parts of the same European patent in the respective other countries, nor does this provide grounds for declaratory interest (Feststellungsinteresse) in Germany, i.e. a legitimate interest in filing a negative declaratory action regarding the German part of the European patent.

The circumstances resulting in the German proceedings were infringe [...]

The EU Patent Package – Where does Europe stand End of June 2014?

1 Introduction

Reports that say there’s — that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things that we know that we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.

Donald Rumsfeld, United States Secretary of Defense, 1975-1977 and 2001-2006

According to Article 89 of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPCA), the Agreement is set up to enter into force on one of three dates, whichever is the latest. The first date provided in the Agreement was 1 January 2014. As we all know, it did not h [...]

Patent claim construction – reference to a multitude of preceding claims

Just recently, the judgement of the German Federal Court of Justice (Bun-desgerichtshof, BGH) in re X ZR 31/11 concerning a tyre removal machine has been published. This judgement is of relevance as the Federal Court of Justice had to answer a question of claim construction relevant in infringement and nullity proceedings likewise. The relevant question was whether a claim referring back to a multitude of preceding claims necessarily requires that all features of the multitude of claims re-ferred back to are fulfilled or not.

In this particular case about EP 1 177 920 there have been two independent subclaims (claims 1 and 13) and eleven subclaims dependent on claim 1 (claims 2–12). Wherea [...]

Claim to Priority Allowed Despite Generalization of Invention

In its recent decision “Communication Channel” (“Kommunikationskanal”) of 11 February 2014, docket, X ZR 107/12, the FCJ decided that the priority of an earlier application may be claimed if the technical instructions described there by means of an example or in other ways appear for the skilled person as an embodiment of the more general teaching described in the later application, and this teaching, in the generality exposed by the later application, can already be taken from the earlier application as belonging to the filed invention.

In this new decision the FCJ has ruled on the question of when it is admissible to generalize a teaching and still remain within the confines of the [...]

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