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German Court is Soothsaying What the Future will Bring for FRAND and Compulsory License Defenses

by Dr. Simon Klopschinski

In one of its latest orders the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court has used the opportunity to take a glimpse into the crystal ball, in order to see what decision the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is going to render in response to the pending referral for preliminary ruling regarding the FRAND and compulsory license defense in case of standard essential patents (SEPs).

In recent years the information and telecommunication (ITC) sector has seen a wave of patent lawsuits in various jurisdictions, including Germany. Since most of the patents asserted in these proceedings form part of a standard, a core questions is whether enforcing SEPs complies with anti [...]

Dipeptidyl-Peptidase-Inhibitoren, Federal Court of Justice Germany, 11 September 2013

a) The applicant is not obliged to limit the protective scope to explicitly described embodiments, but may make certain generalisations to cover the entire invention.

b) Whether a claim containing generalisations is enabled depends on whether the protective scope extends beyond the most generalized teaching solving the underlying problem.

c) Functionally describing a group of compounds is not precluded by the fact that such wording encompasses not only compounds already known in the art or disclosed in the specification, but also compounds that may be provided in the future; even if their provision requires inventive activity.

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

There’s life in the old dog yet: Infringement under the doctrine of equivalence

Many practitioners in Germany thought the doctrine of equivalence to be rather at its end following two Supreme Court (BGH)-decisions in 2011 (“Okklusionsvorrichtung” and “Dyglycidverbindung”). Now, the renowned Higher Regional Court Duesseldorf has – in my eyes, correctly – made clear that the old dog is still alive.

Background

According to standard practice of the BGH, equivalence has three prerequisites: (i) an identical effect attributed to the alternative means; (ii) perceptibility of the alternative solution for the skilled person; and (iii) equivalence in value.

The BGH uses the following formula to describe the third prerequisite (equivalence in value) in detail: The ref [...]

No Mercy: Exhaustion of patent rights and burden of proof

The use and circulation of a product which has been put on the market by the patentee or a third party acting with the consent of the patentee (e.g. a licensee) cannot be prohibited by the patentee anymore. This concept of exhaustion is not only applicable to the territory of Germany, but to the entire territory of the EU and EEA, i.e. the common European market. This Europe wide exhaustion of patent rights is the basis for parallel imports, in particular for parallel imports of pharmaceuticals and plant protection products.

Being a defense, the burden of prove showing that the product has been put onto the market by the patentee or a licensee lies with the defendant. However, applying this [...]

T 1553/13 – New Referral to the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the EPO

The EPO Board of Appeal 3.2.06 decided on 20 February 2014 to refer the following question to the Enlarged Board of Appeal:
“Is an appeal inadmissible or not deemed to have been filed, if both the notice of appeal had been filed and the fee for appeal had been paid after the expiry of the appeal term pursuant to Art. 108, 1st sentence EPC?”

Tramadol/Acetaminophen, Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof), 18 September 2012 ”

General disadvantages of fixed-dose combinations cannot reduce the reasonable expectation of success derivable from the prior art with respect to the formulation of a pharmaceutical composition containing two specific active pharmaceutical ingredients. A synergistic effect is not suitable to establish inventive step of a fixed-dose combination of two active pharmaceutical ingredients, where the synergistic effect was already observed for the simultaneous but separate administration of the same active ingredients.

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

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