To the extent that summer 2014 existed at all in central Europe, experts agree that it is now definitely over. There is some controversy whether we ever had summer in Germany this year, but at least it was proven that life without air conditioning is possible.
Meanwhile, the Munich IP Community is busily preparing for Oktoberfest starting tomorrow. So while we are all still sober, time for a litte summary on the latest developments in the case law of the German Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) in “Summer” 2014.
In one decision (X ZR 36/13), the FCJ took the opportunity to explain its current thinking on the scope of equivalence a bit further. In the decision under appeal, the Higher Regional C [...]
The Stockholm District Court found that the product did not fall under the wording of the patent claim or the doctrine of equivalence. During the application procedure before EPO, the patent holder had intentionally limited the scope of protection in order to avoid prior art. The features added to the patent claim during the application procedure meant that the defendant’s product could not constitute infringement under the wording of the patent claim, and considering this limitation, the Court further concluded that the doctrine of equivalence could not be applied to expand the scope of protection.
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.
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 [...]
In its decision “Fahrradkurbeleinheit” (“bike crank assembly”) the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf has lifted an injunction by the Regional Court of Düsseldorf on appeal (OLG Düsseldorf, I-2 U 78/12, 20 June 2013). Contrary to the first instance the court did not find for patent infringement. Questions of literal and equivalent infringement have been discussed and the court gave some useful guidance on the interpretation of patent claims.
One of the issues of the case was whether the claim wording “formed on” required two parts – if not being integral – to be at least firmly connected to each other. Here, the court stated that “formed on” did not necessarily mean that the one part [...]
Ex parte measures are rather difficult to obtain in patent matters in Switzerland (except from evidence-protection measures). Nevertheless, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court had the opportunity to opine on this subject in a recent decision dated 21 August 2013. Although this case will become better known because it was the first time that the first instance, the Swiss Federal Patent Court, had to deal with the doctrine of equivalence (and affirmed an infringement by equivalent means, see the preliminary decision of the Federal Patent Court here), it is also worth to analyze the requirements of ex parte measures in Switzerland.
In the case at hand, the patentee was informed in December 2012 by [...]
Under the doctrine of equivalents, a patent does not convey protection for all options disclosed in the broader patent description if these options are not specifically included in the patent claims.
Click here for the full text of this case.
A summary of this case will be posted on http://www.Kluweriplaw.com[...]