Photo of Dr. Ulrich Worm

Ulrich Worm is a partner in the Frankfurt office of Mayer Brown and heads the German Intellectual Property practice. His practice focuses on technology related advice.

Ulrich advises clients in IP related matters, including patent, trade secrets, design right, trademark and copyright matters as well as on licensing, co-operation and other technology transfer agreements. He represents clients in patent infringement and nullity proceedings and in trade secrets litigation cases before courts in Germany. In addition to litigating IP cases before German courts, he coordinates pan-European and cross-Atlantic litigation cases. Further to his IP litigation practice, Ulrich advises on patent related matters such as patent license and other technology transfer agreements and is experienced in fighting counterfeiting of patent, design right and trademark protected products.

His practice further covers IT-related matters, including advising on cloud services, software licensing agreements, SaaS agreements, software development projects, e-commerce, and related data protection and privacy questions.

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On 15 November 2016, the US Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or the “Commission”) issued an “Enforcement Policy Statement” (“Policy Statement”) to provide guidance about its enforcement policy on marketing claims for over-the-counter (“OTC”) homeopathic remedies. The FTC concluded that marketing claims that OTC homeopathic products have a therapeutic effect (beyond placebo) lack a scientific basis. Consumers were therefore likely to be deceived by labels that do not disclose the lack of “adequately substantiated evidence” that ‎those products have the claimed treatment effects.
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On 31 August 2016, the German Federal Patent Court issued a compulsory license under a patent that protects an HIV drug to affiliates of Merck & Co. (Case 3 LiQ 1/16). It was only the second time in the history of the court that a compulsory license has been granted and the first time that such license was granted in an emergency procedure. The Federal Patent Court’s first decision to grant a compulsory license dates back to 1991 (Case 3 Li 1/90) and did not survive appeal to the Federal Court of Justice (Case X ZR 26/92).
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On 8 September 2016 (C-160/15), the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that the posting of a hyperlink to copyright-protected works located on another web site does not constitute copyright infringement when the link poster does not seek financial gain and acts without knowledge of the illegal publication. However, when the posting of a hyperlink is carried out for profit, it has to be presumed that the posting has occurred with the full knowledge of the protected nature of that work and the possible lack of consent from the copyright holder to publication on the linked web site.
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Generally speaking, a Blockchain is a peer-to-peer operated distributed digital ledger that records all transactions executed for a particular asset. The ledger is “distributed” because each user of the network has its own copy of the blockchain, and each user’s copy is updated with new information simultaneously. The greatest benefit of distributed ledger applications, in comparison to conventional financial networks, is that exchanges of a particular asset can be verified, monitored and enforced without the presence of a trusted third party or a central institution.
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On 14 June 2016, the German Federal Court of Justice (X ZR 29/15 “Pemetrexed”) confirmed prior decisions in which it held that patent infringement under the doctrine of equivalents can, in principle, not be assumed, if the patent discloses various ways that a certain technical result can be achieved, but only one of those possibilities has found its way into the claims.
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On 23 June 2016, a US federal jury concluded that Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Robert Plant did not copy the opening guitar riff in “Stairway to Heaven” from the song “Taurus,” an earlier tune by US rock band Spirit. The latter song, a 2-minute 27-second instrumental, was recorded nearly four years before “Stairway,” and was released on Spirit’s self-titled debut album in 1968.

The conclusion of the “Stairway” case comes a little more than a year after a federal jury in Los Angeles, California, awarded millions to R&B-soul singer Marvin Gaye’s family. The jury decided that recording stars Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams had plagiarized Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” in creating their hit single “Blurred Lines.”
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A Spanish man using the pseudonym “Frikidoctor” has been posting videos to a major video-sharing web site that detail the events of several upcoming episodes of a popular medieval fantasy TV series, including some key plot twists. Frikidoctor’s video “predictions” (which later turned out to be remarkably accurate) were also translated to English and posted to Reddit. At some point, the videos had been taken down from the web site, marked with “copyright claim by [a major cable TV network].” Reportedly, the network is asserting that these videos are infringing on its copyright even if some of the videos do not contain any actual video footage or stills from their hit series. After the videos were removed, Redditors began fervent discussions about whether or not the network was entitled to remove those videos. Some legal experts claim that by giving detailed plot information, one could possibly be liable for copyright infringement. This is, however, not clear. Interestingly, the web site has since restored the videos.
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On 19 October 2015, Amazon filed a patent application for a process that would allow its customers to authenticate purchases with a selfie-photograph rather than a password. The application (Pub. No.:US 2016/0071111 A1) concerns a computer-implemented payment method using selfies in a two-step authentication: In the first step, buyers send a selfie to establish their identity. In the second step, they send another photo or video in which they blink, nod or open or close their mouth to confirm that an actual human being is attempting to be authenticated.
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On 15 December 2015, the European Council and representatives of the European Parliament reached a consensus on the European Commission’s proposed Directive on “the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure.” The Commission’s original proposal 
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Today’s cars include up to 100 electronic control units as well as numerous sensor networks and assistance systems. While these devices can improve the comfort and safety of the driver and passengers, they also can collect and store a great deal of information about the current driving pattern, geolocation, traffic or even weather conditions. Some data collected this way
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