A decision issued on 15 March 2021 by the Bavarian Data Protection Authority (“BayLDA”, publication pending) is the first German enforcement action in connection with last year’s decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”, “CJEU’s Decision”) on the validity of the European Commission’s Standard Contractual Clauses (“SCCs”) and the EU-US Privacy Shield (C-311/18, more information available in our client alert). In the CJEU Decision, the court held that a transfer of personal data from the EU to third countries outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”) under the EU Standard Contractual Clauses will be permissible
Continue Reading German Data Protection Authority Decides on Supplementary Measures for International Data Transfers

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

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

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

According to recent press reports, the German data protection authorities have agreed on a new way to calculate administrative fines under the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). The new scoring model, which has not yet been officially published, could make fines of tens of millions of euros a reality in Germany. In contrast to their French and UK counterparts, Germany’s data protection authorities have so far been more restrictive in imposing GDPR fines.
Continue Reading German Data Protection Authorities Agree on New GDPR Fining Model

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