On 2 December 2016, President Obama issued an administrative order to prohibit the proposed acquisition of a controlling interest in Aixtron SE (Aixtron) by Grand Chip Investment GmbH (GCI), a German company partially owned by Fuijan Grand Chip Investment Fund LP, a Chinese partnership with some Chinese government ownership. It was only the third time in history that a US president has formally blocked a proposed foreign acquisition of a US business due to national security concerns identified during the review process by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
Continue Reading US President Blocks Proposed Chinese Acquisition of German Semiconductor Company on National Security Grounds

On 28 November 2016, the UK government issued a press release that, despite the UK’s leave from the EU, commonly known as “Brexit,” it still plans to ratify the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (“UPC Agreement”) over the coming months. The UPC Agreement was signed by 24 out of 25 EU Member States that participate in the enhanced cooperation procedure to create a unitary patent system in the EU, including the UK.
Continue Reading UK Government Signals Preparations to Ratify the UPC Agreement Despite Brexit

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).
Continue Reading German Federal Patent Court Grants Compulsory License on HIV Drug Patent

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.
Continue Reading German Federal Court of Justice Rules on Patent Infringement Under the Doctrine of Equivalents

On 11 July 2016, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a unanimous en banc ruling in The Medicines Company v. Hospira Inc. that a sale of manufacturing services by a contract manufacturer to an inventor to create embodiments of a patented product for the inventor does not trigger the on-sale bar of 35 U.S.C. § 102.
Continue Reading US Federal Circuit: Outsourced Manufacturing Is No Ground for Invalidity Under the On-Sale Bar

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.
Continue Reading Amazon Wants to Patent “Pay by Selfie” Technology

On 16 February 2016, the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection published the first draft of legislation that will make it possible for Germany to ratify the UPC Agreement. The draft law granting consent for ratification was published together with accompanying draft legislation to implement the unitary patent system into German law. The accompanying law proposal in particular contains changes to German patent and civil procedure law to accommodate the unitary patent. It, among other things, also addresses the delegation of German judges to the UPC.
Continue Reading The Ratification of the Unified Patent Court Agreement in Germany

On 20 January 2016, following oral opposition proceedings, the European Patent Office (EPO) has apparently revoked a European patent held by Monsanto on certain virus-resistant melon plants. No Patents on Seeds, a European-based coalition initiated by various NGOs, was one of the groups in opposition to the melon patent, based on notices received by the EPO in February 2012.
Continue Reading Monsanto Patent on Virus-Resistant Melon Revoked

Mit Urteil vom 25. Februar 2015 entschied das LG Düsseldorf (12 O374/14), dass der Inhaber eines Anspruchs aus §§ 17, 18 UWG, der den Verletzer mittels einer einstweiligen Verfügung ohne vorherige Abmahnung in Anspruch nimmt, seinen Kostenerstattungsanspruch nicht verliert, wenn die vorherige Abmahnung unterblieben ist, um den Erfolg einer Strafanzeige gegen den Verletzer nicht zu gefährden.
Continue Reading Kostenerstattungsanspruch trotz unterbliebener Abmahnung

While the Chinese market has immense potential for US companies, skepticism over China’s ability to protect and enforce intellectual property rights can be a significant deterrent. Now, however, it appears that China is addressing this skepticism. In April, a Chinese government agency published amendments to China’s patent law. While there is still concern that the