In an order published today, the German Federal Constitutional Court decided that the Act of Approval to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (“UPC Agreement”) is void. In its reasoning, the Court held that the ratification of the UPC Agreement violated democratic principles as the Act of Approval was not passed by two thirds of the members of the German Parliament (Bundestag). Thus, the Bundestag did not effectively pass the Act of Approval. Continue Reading German Federal Constitutional Court Decides that German Ratification of UPC Agreement is Void

On 27 February 2020, the UK government unofficially announced that the UK will not participate in the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court system. The decision was confirmed by a spokesperson for the prime minister, who stated that “Participating in a court that applies EU law and bound by the CJEU is inconsistent with our aims of becoming an independent self-governing nation“. For more information about the topic, please read our latest Mayer Brown Legal Update.

According to press reports, the German Ministry of Justice recently released a draft law proposal to restrict injunctions in patent cases by equitable considerations in individual cases. Currently, under German patent law, a permanent injunction is the automatic remedy if a patent is found to be infringed. And since digitalization has led to an increase in the number of patents involved in a single product (e.g., cars, smartphones), the grant of injunctive relief based on a single patent may therefore easily Continue Reading German Government Announces Plans to Restrict Injunctive Relief in Patent Cases by Equitable Considerations

On 11 February 2020, five months after the German federal government adopted a blockchain strategy, the Bavarian state government implemented a blockchain strategy of its own, acknowledging that blockchain is a key digitalization technology. The Bavarian strategy paper highlights that blockchain technology could lead to the new, disruptive business models and to administrative processes that are more efficient. Continue Reading Bavaria Implements Blockchain Strategy

On 28 January 2020, the European Patent Office (EPO) published its reasons for two recent decisions refusing two European patent applications in which a machine named DABUS—”a type of connectionist artificial intelligence”—was designated as the inventor. The applicant had argued that the machine should be recognized as the inventor and that he, as the owner of the machine, was an assignee of any IP rights created by his machine. Continue Reading EPO Publishes Grounds for Refusing AI-Invented Patent Applications

Responding to a written question put to the UK Parliament on 21 January 2020, Government Minister Chris Skidmore stated that the UK has no plans to implement the controversial new EU Copyright Directive following the UK’s exit from the European Union. Entering into force in June 2019, EU countries have been given until June 2021 to implement the Directive into their national legislation. For more information about the topic, please read our latest Mayer Brown Legal Update.

Brexit is finally here. The United Kingdom leaves the European Union on 31 January 2020. The EU and the UK will now enter a transition period which is scheduled to last until 31 December 2020. During this time, the UK will continue to abide by the EU laws, be subject to the rulings of EU courts, and contribute to the EU budget. Hence, the status quo will essentially remain unchanged during the transition period. The aim of the transition period is to provide enough time for the final wave of negotiations between the UK and EU to Continue Reading Brexit – What Does it Mean for Businesses from an IP, Tech and Privacy Perspective?

Ongoing public consultations from the World Intellectual Property Organisation and others demonstrate a focus by IP policymakers on better understanding issues posed by artificial intelligence. In our newest Legal Update, we outline some key issues in relation to copyright ownership in AI-generated works and inventorship and ownership challenges for patent protection in AI-generated inventions. For more information, read our latest Mayer Brown Legal Update on these topics.

In addition to obvious examples of original art such as paintings, music and poetry, copyright protection can, inter alia, also extend to nonfictional literature such as technical reports and expert opinions. In several cases, the District Court and the Higher District Court of Cologne as well as the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) confirmed that even scientific expert opinions or military mission reports which merely reproduce facts or findings can be subject to copyright protection. Continue Reading CJEU and German Courts Rule on the Copyrightability of Non-Fictional Literature

On 1 October 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled on a number of questions which, inter alia, relate to the validity of consent to cookies “by way of a pre-checked checkbox” (Case C 673/17). Although the questions referred to the CJEU primarily related to provisions of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive (2002/58/EG), the CJEU stated that the questions  must be answered also in regard to the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Continue Reading Court of Justice of the EU: A “Pre-Checked Checkbox” Is Not Valid Consent to Cookies under the GDPR