In a recent decision on patent infringement under the doctrine of equivalents, the German Federal Court of Justice confirmed its case law that each limitation of the claim must be met in the accused device, either literally or equivalently. Specifically, the Court held that it was irrelevant whether the accused device as a whole produces an effect that is, in its totality, equivalent to an embodiment of the claim. Rather, it was decisive which effect each individual limitation of the claim contributes to the use of the invention and whether these exact effects are achieved literally or equivalently in the accused device.
Continue Reading German Federal Court of Justice Confirms Its Case Law on Patent Infringement by Equivalents

On 28 October 2020, the German Federal Government passed a bill to simplify and modernize the German patent law. The bill is expected to pass the German Parliament (Bundestag) early next year. Once the draft law passes, injunctions in patent infringement cases will be restricted by equitable considerations in individual cases.
Continue Reading German Government Passes Bill to Simplify and Modernize Patent Law

On 18 March 2020, the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (“DPMA”) has announced the extensions for all time limits granted by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office regarding all pending IP procedures. This extension shall be granted ex officio until 4 May 2020. Until then, no decision shall be made due to the expiration of any time limit.
Continue Reading German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) Extends Deadlines and Cancels Scheduled Hearings

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

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 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

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

On 4 June 2019, the German Federal Court of Justice upheld a ruling by the German Federal Patent Court in which the latter court denied an application for a compulsory license under a patent related to the treatment of cholesterol-related disorders (Case X ZB 2/19). This decision is in line with previous German jurisprudence that has, with a few exceptions, been restrictive to grant compulsory licenses.
Continue Reading German Federal Court of Justice Denies Compulsory License on Anti-Cholesterol Drug Patent

On 6 September 2018, the German Federal Patent Court denied an application for a (preliminary) compulsory license under a patent related to the treatment of cholesterol-related disorders to the Applicant, group companies of a French pharmaceutical company (Case 3 LiQ 1/18). This decision is in line with previous jurisprudence of the court that has, with very few exceptions, been
Continue Reading German Federal Patent Court Denies Compulsory License on Anti-Cholesterol Drug Patent