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Grünecker Trademark and Competition Law departments featured in Legal 500 (2018): “Superior quality of work”

Grünecker provides a “superior quality of work”. This is what Legal500 discovered in a current survey of clients and companies. The “young, but efficient” team has succeeded in continuing to expand its already very robust portfolio practice operations. Its clientele includes various companies from the luxury goods and fashion sectors, as well as...

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Legal 500 (2018) on Grünecker Patent Law/Application operations: “Very high quality of advice”

Grünecker impresses clients with its “very high quality advice”. This is how the Specialist Editorial Team of Legal500 sums up the outcome of a client survey. The patent law team excels with “outstanding expertise”. The team, spanning a very broad range of subject matter understanding, “fully covers” all technical areas. The law firm has in...

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Legal 500 (2018) on Grünecker Patent Law/Dispute Resolution activities (2018): “Utmost Efficiency”

Grünecker is reported to be “highly diversified” and “extraordinarily efficient in coordinating and leading complex international teams of law firms”, notes the Specialist Editorial Team of Legal500 as the outcome of its most recent client survey. The law firm’s team is able to handle “multiple parallel complex proceedings in a timely and efficient...

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Grünecker Trademark and Competition Law departments covered in the Juve Manual (2018): “A robust standing in the market”

Grünecker is frequently recommended by clients in the fields of trademark and competition law, observes the Juve Editorial Team in the current edition of its Manual. The law firm’s team enjoys a “robust standing” in the market, and has “comprehensive experience”. This results in Grünecker being in high demand, and in “an ongoing flow of procedural...

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Grünecker Patent Law Dept. featured in the Juve Manual (2018): “Extensive technical know-how”

The “extensive technical know-how” obtained from an unusually large number of patent applications is one of the law firm’s “greatest strengths”, observes the specialist editorial team of Juve in the current edition of its manual. Juve notes that clients really benefit from that, also in litigation. Upon representing Yahoo and Twitter ín their...

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Grünecker Trademark Law in ManagingIP (2017): “A team of top-notch specialists”

Trademark infringements and counterfeit products are pursued by Grünecker before the offices and courts in Germany and in the EU with a “team of top-notch specialists”, writes the US magazine ManagingIP in its current law firm ranking. Clients are very happy about the work of Dr. Nicolás Schmitz, Attorney-at-Law, due to his professional, and at the...

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Grünecker Patent Law in ManagingIP (2017): “Client-oriented”

Grünecker provides an excellent service, in both patent prosecution and litigation, ManagingIP found out in a current client survey. International clients commend, above all, the very good cooperation with the attorneys-at-law and patent attorneys at Grünecker. Particular attention is drawn to the very positive experience of working with Dr. Anton...

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Grünecker Patent Law in IAM (2017): “Excellence in every field”

Harnessing the experience of adept specialists in every major legal field and their versatile technical know-how, Grünecker is in a position to very competently take care of complex lawsuits of international clients, commends the US magazine IAM. In much-observed proceedings concerning mobile communications patents (for uploading photos), the...

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Grünecker in Chambers (2017): “Competent and results-oriented”

International clients assess the work of Grünecker lawyers as being versatile, fast and results-oriented, reports the Chambers Europe Guide in its current edition. Grünecker attorneys-at-law and patent attorneys know how to precisely adapt their activities to their clients’ objectives, comments one client enthusiastically. As per said client, their...

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Grünecker Trademark and Design Law in Juve (2017): “An international clientele of industry leaders”

Grünecker is frequently recommended in the fields of trademark and competition law. It represents many German and international branded companies and has built up an efficient proprietary business in this segment, writes the Juve Editorial Team in the 2017 manual. Its optimized structure helps the law firm to proceed more cost-effectively and at...

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Grünecker Patent Law in Juve (2017): “European market leader”

Grünecker occupies a strong position, also as the European market leader, observes the Juve Editorial Team in the 2017 manual. The technical know-how at Grünecker is unusually broad in comparison to other firms, as per Juve’s commendation. They consider that the patent team ranks among the leading experts. One of the assets of the litigation team...

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Grünecker Patentrecht/Anmeldungen in Legal500 (2017): „Eine Marktgröße“

Grünecker gehört zu den ganz Großen im Patentanmeldegeschäft, schreibt Legal500. Neben den bestehenden Stärken bei Anmeldungen, Einspruchsverfahren und der strategischen Beratung wachse Grünecker auch bei der Arbeit rund um Lizenzverträge. Eine große Zahl der Mandanten stammt aus dem Ausland. Empfohlen werden die Patentanwälte Dr. Moritz Höffe,...

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World Trademark Review (2017): Grünecker ranked “Gold”

Grünecker is one of the six best law firms in Germany, which advise and represent companies in trademark and unfair competition law. According to WTR World Trademark Review's assessment of the firm’s clients, Grüncker's team is “extremely strong and well-organised.“ With a strong network in other countries “Grunecker offers clients strategic help...

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Grünecker in IAM 1000 (2016): „Souverän vor Gericht”

Viel Lob für die Rechtsanwälte und Patentanwälte von Grünecker notiert das internationale Fachmagazin IAM in seiner aktuellen Mandanten-Befragung. Im Urteil der Mandanten liefere die Kanzlei einen exzellenten Service, sei sehr erfahren bei allen Details in Gerichtsverfahren und agiere hier souverän. Mandanten aus dem Ausland arbeiteten sehr gut mit...

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Grünecker in Managing IP (2016): „Reaktionsschnell und effizient“

Das Fachmagazin Managing IP, eine der führenden internationalen Publikationen für Intellectual Property, hat mehrere Patentanwälte von Grünecker als „Patent Stars“ ausgezeichnet. Dazu gehören Reinhard Knauer, Spezialist für Patente bei Software und Computertechnik, Thomas Schuster im Bereich Physik und Dr. Heike Vogelsang-Wenke im Bereich...

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Grünecker Marken-, Design- und Wettbewerbsrecht in Juve (2015): Zunehmend direkt mandatiert

Um einen Platz verbessert hat sich Grünecker im Marken- und Designrecht: Hier rangiert die Kanzlei nun im Tier zwei unter den Top-12-Kanzleien Deutschlands. Den Partnern sei es gelungen, langjährige Mandatsbeziehungen weiter auszubauen. Zudem konnten sie neue Mandanten gewinnen. „Die Partner werden zunehmend direkt von Unternehmen mandatiert“, hat...

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Grünecker Patentrecht in Chambers (2014): Weiterhin erfolgreich

Chambers Global 2014 zählt Grünecker im Patentrecht weiterhin zu den führenden Kanzleien in Deutschland. Im Bereich Patentanmeldungen erreicht Grünecker dabei einen hervorragenden Platz im ersten Band. Im Bereich Patentprozesse hebt Chambers die Rechtsanwälte Bernd Allekotte und Gerhard Barth als aktive Prozessvertreter hervor. Positiv bewertet die...

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GRÜNECKER: Recommended in Patent Law

Grünecker and partners Dr. Heike Vogelsang-Wenke, Dr. Jens Hammer and Dr. Bernd Allekotte are amongst the most recommended firms and attorneys for patent law in Germany. This reports German “Wirtschaftswoche” in its December issue. For this ranking, the “Handelsblatt”-Institute interrogated 690 patent attorneys and attorneys-at-law in 111 firms and...

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Board of Appeal decides that new Rule 28(2) EPC is in conflict with Article 53(b) EPC

In a much-noticed decision, a Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) has decided last week at oral proceedings in case T 1063/18 that new Rule 28(2) EPC is in conflict with Article 53(b) EPC as interpreted by the Enlarged Board of Appeal in decisions G 2/12 and G 2/13 (Tomato II and Broccoli II). Rule 28(2) had only been recently...

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German Federal Constitutional Court – 30 September 2018: The defendant must be heard in preliminary injunction proceedings regarding press law

With decision dated 30 September 2018 1 BvR 1783/17, the German Federal Constitutional Court ruled that a preliminary injunction, granted without a prior warning letter and hearing of the...

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Court of Appeals Düsseldorf - Cease and Desist Order does not comprise a Duty to Recall - “Razor Blade Units”

Does a cease and desist order comprise the obligation to request from customers to recall products brought into the market or, at least, request to no longer distribute them? The Patent Senate of the Court of Appeals Düsseldorf denies this. In its order of April 30, 2018, the Court of Appeals Düsseldorf ( docket no.: I-15 “ 9/18) decided to not...

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District Court Hamburg - Exhibition on trade fair constitutes an offering - „wind turbine blade“

In a judgment rendered on April 26, 2018 (docket no. 327 O 479/19, GRUR-Prax 2018, 285), the District Court Hamburg accepts for the area of patent law that exhibition of a product on a domestic trade fair usually constitutes an “offering” (this is also accepted by the Court of Appeals Düsseldorf, BeckRS 2014, 16067 - “sterile container”). The I....

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IAA 2018: GRÜNECKER-Patentstudie

Richtungswechsel - Nutzfahrzeuge fahren künftig elektrisch. Grünecker untersucht Patentfamilien weltweit. 

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The UK has ratified – UPC ante portas? All Eyes on Germany’s Constitutional Court

Following a period of silence about the UPC, the UK has now ratified the UPC Agreement. The fate of the UPC is now in the hands of the German Constitutional Court as they decide whether the German Act on ratification of the UPC agreement is in line with the German Constitution. 

Ratification by Germany

Ratification proceedings in Germany have...

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Enlarged Board of Appeal affirms in G1/16 earlier decision G1/03 and simplifies criteria for use of an “undisclosed disclaimer”

Previously, the Enlarged Board had dealt with the admissibility of a “disclaimer” in decisions G1/03 (G2/03) and G2/10. G1/03 established certain criteria for the admissibility of an “undisclosed disclaimer”, the second decision G2/10 was concerned with a different type of “disclaimer”, namely “disclosed disclaimer”. According to G1/03 “undisclosed...

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European Commission – The EU’s Approach to Standard Essential Patents

On November 29, 2017, the European Commission published its approach to Standard Essential Patents (COM(2017) 712 final). Two main objectives shall be achieved: Incentivizing the development and inclusion of top technologies in standards by preserving fair and adequate return for these contributions, and ensuring smooth and wide dissemination of...

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Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf – “Preliminary Injunction and FRAND“ - as to the duties of the SEP owner”

By decision of July 18, 2017, the Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf elaborated on the duties of the SEP owner who wants to enforce its patent by means of a preliminary injunction (I-2 O 23/17): The SEP owner needs to submit a license offer on FRAND (Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory) conditions immediately when noticing infringement. This...

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European Court of Justice: „Nintendo-BigBen“ - Infringement of a community design an international jurisdiction

BigBen France manufactures fittings which are compatible with a video game console of Nintendo, and delivers them it to customers in France, Belgium or Luxembourg. Nintendo´s video game console is protected by a community design. A BigBen advertisement depicted Nintendo´s video console. The European Court of Justice, upon referral by the Higher...

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House of Lords approves UPC – Germany is silenly waiting for its Constitutional Court

On December 12, 2017 the House of Lords has approved the UPC-Package. What is left to bring UK’s ratification process is to have the Package pass the Privy Council for Scotland and England - a mere formality. Subsequently, the British government can submit the ratification document in Luxembourg leaving Germany to be the one country everybody waits...

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BREXIT

Impact on intellectual property rights – an update on the current situation Anja Franke, LL.M. (10.2017)

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Higher Regional Court Munich – “patent pending” and misleading advertisement

On June 1, 2017, the Higher Regional Court Munich (6 U 3973/16) has decided that the indication “patent pending” is understood by a relevant part of the consumers to say that the respective product is protected by a granted patent. If this is not the case because there is only a patent application in place, the indication “patent pending” is...

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German Federal Supreme Court: “Sektionaltor II” – Compensatory claim of a co-owner of an invention

The Appeal Court had granted a claim for financial compensation to a co-owner of an invention who did not use the invention, against another co-owner who had used the invention to a considerable extent. In its reasoning, the Appeal Court was of the opinion that the reasons for not using the invention were irrelevant for the existence of such claim...

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Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office: “Dasatinib” – plausibility and burden of proof for technical effect

A granted patent claim was directed to an extremely broadly defined group of compounds including dasatinib, which is an inhibitor for specific protein tyrosine kinases. In the appeal proceedings the patentee tried to defend a claim directed to dasatinib. The only disclosure as to the technical effect reads: “Compounds described in the following...

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Patent applications for e-car-batteries

On occasion of the IAA car fair in Frankfurt, the German TV station ZDF reports on the patent study of Grünecker on battery technology. There is hardly any manufacturer that dares not to present an e-model of its own. The German manufacturers apparently start a chase now, at least with respect to patent applications. Daimler takes third place with...

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Many patents for e-cars in Germany

The German car manufacturers have, over the past years, filed for surprisingly many patents for batteries of electric cars, reported the newspaper “Süddeutsche Zeitung” in an article about a current patent study of Grünecker. The study compares the amount of patent applications of the most important car manufacturers and suppliers in the area of...

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Grünecker Patentrecht/Streitbeilegung in Legal500 (2017): “Hervorragender Service”

Mandanten schätzen das „breit aufgestellte Team“, das auch in streitigen Angelegenheiten „hervorragenden Service“ bietet. Im Notfall bearbeite die Kanzlei selbst komplexe Themen „im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes über Nacht“, zitiert Legal500 einen Mandanten. Die Schwerpunkte liegen vor allem in den Bereichen Elektronik und IT. Die Tätigkeit im Bereich...

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Impending ban on sales of luxury goods unsettles market place dealers

Manufacturers may prohibit dealers from distributing goods via market places such as eBay or Amazon. That is what the Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) demands. The leading specialist trade journal, TextilWirtschaft, interviewed Dr. Holger Gauss, Attorney-at-Law at Grünecker, who represents a broad range of...

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German Federal Supreme Court “Seal System” - Obligations of a Foreign Patent Infringing Entity

In its “Seal System” decision of May 16, 2017 (X ZR 120/15), the German Federal Supreme Court tightens the rules concerning obligations and liabilities of a foreign defendant: The claim for recall of patent infringing products from the channels of trade could also be directed against a foreign defendant. Moreover, the court held that such claim...

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Federal Court of Justice confirms compulsory license for HIV-drug in preliminary injunction proceedings

As reported here previously (see archive September 2016) in the decision of August 31, 2016 (3LiQ 1/16), the German Federal Patent Court has granted in preliminary injunction proceedings, to the benefit of the company group Merck, a compulsory license concerning the German part of the European Patent EP 1 422 218 (DE 602 42 459.3) of the Japanese...

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The German Federal Supreme "Sierpinski-Dreieck" - use of a simple geometric form as a trademark

The issue to be decided was whether the German figurative mark DE 30 2013 060 953, and the German figurative mark DE 30 2012 034 309 are infringed by the selling of certain pullovers. The figurative marks show one big triangle composed of four little triangles and a pattern of such big and little triangles respectively. The figurative marks and the...

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The European Patent Office (EPO) limits the patentability of plants and animals

The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation has decided on June 29, 2017 to amend the Regulations of the European Patent Convention to exclude plants and animals from patentability with effect from July 1, 2017, if they can exclusively be obtained by an essentially biological process. With this, the EPO follows — even though not...

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E15: First milestone reached

The furniture manufacturer E15 prevailed against IKEA in design law. Arcade, the information portal for the furniture and design industry, was keen to know more about it from Dr. Nicolás Schmitz, Attorney-at-Law at Grünecker. Dr. Schmitz, who represents a host of manufacturers from the luxury goods industry, observes: For the Federal Supreme Court,...

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Can diagnostic data be protected as “direct product” of a process?

Franz-Joseph Zimmer, Olivia Nemethova, Andreas Kayser

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German Federal Supreme Court "ground dowels" - slavish copying after expiration of patent protection

By the judgment of December 15, 2016 (1 ZR 197/15 “ground dowels”), the German Federal Supreme Court has set aside a judgment of the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf and referred the case back to that Court. The plaintiff is manufacturing ground dowels, which are devices to be driven into the soil to fix a pillar or the like on it. A patent...

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Micro Cotton, Aldi loses trademark protection proceedings

The Federal Supreme Court decided that the Indian proprietors of the trademark Micro-Cotton are entitled to trademark protection. In the specialist magazine TextilWirtschaft, Dr. Nicolás Schmitz, Attorney-at-Law at Grünecker, comments on the decision. The term is considered a made-up word worthy of protection in Germany, not, however, in other...

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German Federal Supreme Court "Ankoppelungssystem" - admissibility of auxiliary requests

The nullity plaintiff has only attacked independent claim 1 of the patent, and not further sub-claims. In a nullity appeal proceeding, the patent owner made an attempt to defend the patent as granted, and in an auxiliary manner by including further features from granted sub-claims. The Supreme Court has decided hereto in a decision of March 1, 2017...

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German Federal Supreme Court "Cryptosporidium" - nullity of a use claim

In order to eliminate the potential of Cryptosporidium oocysts infection of drinkable water, a patent claim suggested the use of ultraviolet light in certain doses, and within a certain wavelength range. The state of the art has shown in principle to treat water with ultraviolet light with a wavelength and in doses as claimed, however, for another...

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Grünecker Marken- und Wettbewerbsrecht in Legal500 (2017): „Hochprofessionell zu fairen Preisen”

Grünecker in München erbringt „hochprofessionelle Leistungen zu fairen Preisen“, hat Legal500 von Mandanten erfahren. In der Praxis empfohlen werden Dr. Nicolás Schmitz („engagiert und lösungsorientiert“) und Dr. Holger Gauss („schnell und souverän“) für streitige Auseinandersetzungen. Anja Franke sowie Prof. Maximilian Kinkeldey erhalten von...

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Grünecker Marken- und Wettbewerbsrecht in Legal500 (2016): „Sehr gute Leistung”

Im Marken- und Wettbewerbsrecht können Mandanten von Grünecker eine „sehr gute Leistung zu guten Preisen“ erwarten – so fasst Legal500 die Einschätzung der Mandanten der Kanzlei zusammen. In der Praxis empfohlen werden Dr. Nicolás Schmitz („professionell und kreativ“), Dr. Holger Gauss („souverän“), Anja Franke („vor allem für außergerichtliche...

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Grünecker Patentrecht/Anmeldungen in Legal500 (2016): Weiterhin eine Marktgröße

Die häufig empfohlene IP-Großkanzlei Grünecker gehört weiterhin zu den Marktgrößen im Patentanmeldegeschäft, schreibt Legal500. Anmeldungen, Einspruchsverfahren und strategische Beratung werden von Mandanten umfangreich nachgefragt. Daneben ist auch die Beratung rund um Lizenzverträge wichtig. Mandanten empfehlen Dr. Moritz Höffe, Thomas Schuster...

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The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf decides on confidentiality obligations in the context of FRAND

The plaintiff and owner of a standard essential patent (SEP) has to substantiate that it has offered a license to the infringer which corresponds to the FRAND conditions during the infringement proceedings. Such offer may not unduly discriminate the defendant in comparison to already existent licensees. In litigation, the SEP owner has to reveal...

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German Federal Supreme Court - „MICRO COTTON“ is a valid and not descriptive trademark

The plaintiff is owner of the trademark “MICRO COTTON” which essentially protects laundry and towels. The defendant sells towels with the indication “2 Microcotton Towels”. The District Court and the Higher Regional Court of Hamburg did not see this to be trademark infringing concluding that this is not the use as a trademark, but only a...

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German Federal Supreme Court “Vacum Transport System” - Relation between appeal and an action for re-trial of a case

The bifurcation in German patent infringement trials (patent infringement proceedings on one hand and patent nullity action/opposition on the other) may lead to the situation that an infringement court renders a judgment in favor of the patentee – and it is only later that the patent is held invalid. So far, the procedural way of the deemed patent...

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German Federal Supreme Court “Rezeptortyrosinkinase II” - findings of laboratory not protected as a product obtained directly by a process

The plaintiff is owner of a patent which protects, inter alia, a method for the detection of nucleic acid molecules. Due to a genetic alteration the molecule serves as a marker in the diagnosis of leucaemic diseases. One of the accused parties has delivered from Germany – where patent protection exists – non-infringing samples containing nucleic...

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German Federal Supreme Court “Rescue Drops” - Call-Back Obligation

In its “Rescue Drops” decision of September 19, 2016 (I ZB 34/15), the German Federal Supreme Court confirms the holding of the Higher Regional Court Munich that a cease and desist order, may contain the obligation to recall products even if this is not expressly stipulated in the judgment. The defendant had offered and advertised alcohol...

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The European Court of Justice decides on the permissibility of “Punitive Damage”

A Polish court referred the following question to the European Court of Justice: Is a Polish law that provides for payment of a double reasonable royalty fee in case of copyright infringement in compliance with EU law? The Polish court was of the opinion that this is questionable with regard to Article 13 of EU Directive 2004/48/EU...

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Decision G1/15 (Partial Priority) gets rid of “Poisonous Divisionals”

The Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office has now issued its long awaited decision in case G 1/15 (Partial Priority). The essential question before the Enlarged Board in this case was whether a claim that encompasses alternative embodiments by virtue of a generic expression, instead of individually listing them in the claim, may...

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Announcement provisional application phase

The committee has announced that it is “working under the assumption” that the provisional application phase will start at the end of spring 2017 that is the sunrise period during which opt-out is possible.That would be May 2017. The committee said that the court could open its gate in December 2017. While this is a promising announcement there is...

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German Federal Supreme Court “Wunderbaum” (“wonder-tree”) - distinctiveness of the figurative mark

In a decision of June 2, 2016 (I ZR 75/15), the German Federal Supreme Court referred a case back to the Higher Regional Court of Munich. The plaintiff is the owner of several figurative trademarks for products for freshening the air, showing the silhouette of a fir tree, partly with the word “Wunderbaum” (“wonder-tree”) on it. The trademark owner...

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German Federal Supreme Court "Rezeptortyrosinkinase II" - Medical diagnosis no immediate product of a process

In the long awaited decision X ZR 124/15, the German Federal Supreme Court (BGH) has decided that data obtained by a patent-protected diagnostic detection method, and the conclusions drawn therefrom, are not a product of a process in the sense of §9, Sentence 2, No.3 PatG. In the decided case, the patent protected a detection method for detecting...

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Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office decides on exemption from patentability because of therapeutic treatment

In a decision of December 8, 2016, (T 2420/13) the Board of Appeal had to deal with the interpretation of Article 53 (c) EPC which provides an exception to patentability concerning methods for the therapeutic treatment of the human body. The examining division refused to grant a patent, claim 1 of which started with the wording: “use of an eyeglass...

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The Higher District Court of Düsseldorf specifies the FRAND Conditions

In an order dated November 17, 2016 (I-15 U 66/15), the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf further specified the obligations of the parties to substantiate their case in disputes involving alleged infringement of standard essential patents. The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf is of the opinion that the rules and the procedure as laid down in...

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EPO Board of Appeal refers questions to the Enlarged Board of Appeal

On October 17, 2016, a Technical Board of Appeal has referred fundamental questions of law concerning the allowability of undisclosed disclaimers in a patent claim to the Enlarged Board of Appeal (T 0437/14). The case law of the Enlarged Board of Appeal has made a distinction between “disclosed disclaimers” and “undisclosed disclaimers” (G 1/03 and...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on patent infringement under the doctrine of equivalence

In a decision of August 23, 2016 (X ZR 76/14 “V-shaped guiding part”) the Supreme Court again had to deal with the issue of patent infringement under the doctrine of equivalence, and has set aside the decision of the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf and referred the case back to this instance. The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf was of the...

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Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office rejects appeal as being inadmissible

In a decision of September 9, 2016, (T 2170/10) the Board of Appeal found an appeal lodged by a patent applicant to be inadmissible. The Examining Division found a document (D1), to be novelty-destroying with regard to claim 1 of the application. In its grounds of appeal, the applicant basically repeated the arguments for why he believed that...

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German Federal Supreme Court decides on obligation to provide a security for legal costs

In a decision of June 21, 2016, (X ZR 41/15, “Security for legal costs”) the German Federal Supreme Court had to decide the question of whether a patent troll has to provide a security for legal costs in accordance with Article 110 German Code of Civil Procedure. The troll-company was an affiliate of a US-American mother company, having its...

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European Court of Justice (ECJ) decides on liability of WLAN access provider

In a decision of September 15, 2016 (C-484/14, Tobias McFadden vs. Sony Music Entertainment) the ECJ had to answer several questions concerning the liability of a commercial company which had offered to third parties a free-of-charge WLAN internet access. Third parties had misused this internet access by using a peer-to-peer filesharing system,...

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Compulsory License for Drug

For the second time in its 55 year history, the German Federal Patent Court has granted a compulsory license. This allows the company to continue distributing a drug whose active component had been patented. In a third-party article for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer, patent attorney with Grünecker, and Dr. Bernd...

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Pay-for-delay: Play by the rules

Dr. Franz Zimmer und Dr. Bernd Allekotte

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Pole-Position in Danger

Car manufacturers and their suppliers currently fight various battles. The transition from combustion engine to electric power systems will become expensive. At the same time, the companies need to heavily invest in research and development of autonomous driving. The “Grünecker-Patentindex” realizes: As regards alternative power units, the German...

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Brexit Consequences for Patent Litigation

Dr. Ulrich Blumenröder

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Grünecker Auto-Patentindex 2016: Internationale Studie zu autonomem Fahren

Google, Apple und Tesla machen mit ihren Tests zum autonomen Fahren Schlagzeilen. Doch das meiste technische Know-How für selbstfahrende Autos hat die Automobilindustrie in Deutschland und Japan. Fünf der zehn weltweit wichtigsten Patentanmelder für Techniken rund um das autonome Fahren kommen aus Japan, vier aus Deutschland. Das zeigt der aktuelle...

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Succession in title and priority entitlement in the European Patent Office

Steven M. Zeman, Ph.D

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German Federal Patent Court grants compulsory license for AIDS medication

In a decision of August 31, 2016 (3LiQ 1/16) the German Federal Patent Court has granted, to the benefit of the company group Merck, a compulsory license concerning the German part of the European Patent EP 1 422 218 (DE 602 42 459.3) of the Japanese pharmaceutical company Shionogi. After taking expert evidence, the board was convinced that a...

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US Anti-trust guidelines for the licensing of intellectual property are being updated

The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice’s Anti-Trust Division are updating the anti-trust guidelines for the licensing of intellectual property. The actual draft can be seen here: ftc.gov and can be commented upon by interested parties until September 26, 2016. In the views of both agencies, the IP licensing guidelines are based...

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German Federal Supreme Court: Admissibility of requests filed in appeal proceedings

In a decision on June 21, 2016 (X ZR 41/14 „Fahrzeugscheibe II“) the German Federal Supreme Court has accepted requests, which were directed to defend a patent in amended form and which were only filed in appeal proceedings, to be pertinent and admissible. The first instance, the German Federal Patent Court rendered a preliminary opinion before the...

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Grünecker Patentrecht/Streitbeilegung in Legal500 (2016): “Sehr gutes Team”

Neben dem starken Patentanmeldegeschäft verfügt Grünecker auch über ein “sehr gutes“ Team für streitige Angelegenheiten, lobt die Redaktion in der aktuellen Ausgabe des Handbuches Legal500. Rechtsanwälte und Patentanwälte arbeiten eng zusammen. Damit biete Grünecker einen „qualitativ hochwertigen Service“ mit „sehr gutem technischem Verständnis“....

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on inventive step

In a decision of February 16, 2016, (X ZR 5/14 „Anrufroutingverfahren“) the German Federal Supreme Court has applied a high standard as to the requirement of an inventive step. The judgement of the German Federal Patent Court, which had maintained the patent, has been amended and the patent has been revoked. The closest prior art was a draft for a...

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The German Federal Supreme Court refers questions concerning the community design patent to the European Court of Justice

In a decision of June 2, 2016 (I ZR 226/14 „Kraftfahrzeugfelgen“) the German Federal Supreme Court had to deal with the limits of the repair privilege according to Article 110 of the Community Design Patent Regulation. The defendant had, by marketing aluminium rims, infringed several community design patents of the Porsche company. In its...

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Doctrine of equivalents – not yet dead

In a decision of June 14, 2016 (X ZR 29/15 „Pemetrexed“) the Federal Court of Justice (FCJ) set aside a decision of the Higher Regional Court of Duesseldorf (appeals court) and remitted the case back to the appeals court for further consideration. In particular, the question was whether the attacked embodiment pemetrexeddipotassium infringes the...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on the validity of the color-mark red

In a decision of July 21, 2016, (I ZB 52/15 „Sparkassen-Rot) the German Federal Supreme Court has set aside a decision of the German Federal Patent Court and confirmed the validity of the color mark red for the protected services. The decisive question was whether the color mark red can be seen as a trademark having a secondary meaning according to...

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German savings banks win trademark on the colour red

The Federal Supreme Court has ruled that the colour red belongs to the savings banks (Sparkassen) in the German banking sector. This represents a victory for the savings banks: "It is extremely difficult to be granted trademark on colour", stated Grünecker attorney Dr Nicolás Schmitz, quoted by the German Press Agency ("dpa"). "You can tell that...

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The Court of Justice oft he European Union decides about the compliance of a licence agreement with European Antitrust Law (Article 101 TFEU)

In the case C-567/14 the Court of Justice of the European Union had to decide the question of whether a licence agreement which provides for payment of a licence fee for a certain technology (enhancer derived from human cytomegalo-virus), even in the case that the underlying patents have been found to be invalid or not being used, violates European...

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The state of Bavaria successfully defends the EU Trademark NEUSCHWANSTEIN

Since 2011, the state of Bavaria has been owner of the EU Trademark NEUSCHWANSTEIN, basically protecting merchandising articles and several services. The trademark was opposed before the EUIPO based on the reasoning that it is not distinctive and is descriptive with regard a geographic origin. The EUIPO maintained the trademark and the respective...

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Neue Möglichkeiten der Rückerstattung der Prüfungsgebühr beim EPA

Laut einer Änderung der Gebührenordnung des EPA erhält der Anmelder ab dem 1. November 2016 eine Rückerstattung von 50% der Prüfungsgebühr, wenn die Patentanmeldung nach Beginn der Sachprüfung zurückgenommen wird, bevor die Frist für die Beantwortung des ersten Prüfungsbescheids der Prüfungsabteilung abgelaufen ist. Ab sofort gibt es eine...

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Brexit

Contrary to our beliefs, the UK has voted for leaving the EU. This will delay the opening of the gates of the UPC. Article 89 of the UPC Agreement provides that the Agreement shall only enter into force in case the three Member States in which the highest numbers of European Patents had effect have ratified the Agreement. That includes the UK....

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European Patent Office decides about a change of claim category

In a just-published decision of October 20, 2015 (T 1673/11 ) a Board of Appeal had to decide about the admissibility of a change in the claim category. The granted claim was drafted in the category of a Swiss-type process claim “the use of human acid alpha glucosidase in the manufacture of a medicament …” whereas the claim as maintained by the...

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EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal hears the case concerning partial priorities and poisonous divisional applications

The Board of Appeal decision T 0557/13 raised a number of questions to the Enlarged Board of Appeal. The key issue is that own parent or divisional applications of an applicant may be cited as state of the art in accordance with Article 54(3) EPC against an application or patent belonging to the same patent family which is not entitled to the...

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The Higher Regional Court Karlsruhe stops the enforcement of a first instance decision in the context of FRAND

In a decision of May 31, 2016, (6 U 55/16) the Higher Regional Court Karlsruhe has stopped the enforcement of a first instance decision which was based on a standard essential patent. A legal precondition hereto is that the decision of the first instance is presumably wrong. The District Court did not feel obliged to decide, in an infringement...

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The Court of First Instance decides on Community Trademark „WINNETOU“

In a decision of March 18, 2016 (T-501/13) the General Court has set aside and referred back a decision of the Appeal Board of the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). It was in dispute whether the community trademark WINNETOU has a descriptive character for all goods and services it was applied for, and consequently could not be...

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The Higher Regional Court Berlin decides on the English Terms of Service of WhatsApp

In a decision which was announced on April 8, 2016 (5 U 156/14;), the Higher Regional Court Berlin had to decide on the action of the Federal Association of Consumer Protection Agencies against the company WhatsApp Inc. The Court ruled that the English terms of service must not be used as long as they are not available in the German language. The...

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An Appeal Board of the European Patent Office Rejects an Appeal as inadmissible

In a decision of May 20, 2016 (T 1435/11), the appeal of the patentee has been rejected by the Board of Appeal as being inadmissible. In the first instance proceedings before the Opposition Division, the patentee has defended his patent only in a restricted version. Together with the reasons of appeal, he has submitted a request to maintain the...

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The German Federal Supreme Court rejects requests for late filing

In a decision of December 15, 2015 (X ZR 111/13 „Telekommunikationsverbindung“) the German Federal Supreme Court has rejected auxiliary requests which the patentee has submitted in order to defend his patent as being late filed. Subject matter of these auxiliary requests were sub-claims which were referred back to the main claim. In the first...

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The District Court Düsseldorf decides on “portfolio-splitting” of standard essential patents (SEP)

In three decisions ((4b O 120/14), (4b O 122/14), (<a...

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(German Legal Career Guide): Data protection, patents, product liability

Budding patent attorneys must be interested in technology and inventions, states Grünecker attorney Dr Bernd Allekotte in the Legal Career Guide "Karriereführer Recht". If this is the case, there is a world of exciting opportunities: "Ranging from mechanical inventions to new chemical substances, through to profitable transmission pathways in...

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The European Court of Justice decides on similarity of a trademark application to an earlier trademark

On February 17, 2016 (C-396/15 P), the European Court of Justice decided on an appeal against the decision of the General Court. The General Court found the figurative mark of Adidas similar to the later trademark application of Shoe Branding. Despite the differences in the number of stripes and their respective positions, the General Court found...

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The District Court of Düsseldorf Decides on the “Like” Button of Facebook

In a decision made on March 9, 2016 (12 O 151/15), the District Court of Düsseldorf found the position of the Consumer Advice Center of North Rhine-Westphalia in proceedings against the clothes dealer, Peek and Cloppenburg, legally correct. The integration alone of the “like” button on Peek and Cloppenburg’s website had the result that data on the...

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Titelschutz für Apps: Der Fall Wetter.de

Der Betreiber der App Wetter.de hat vor dem Bundesgerichtshof gegen Nachahmer verloren. "Der Begriff Wetter.de ist nur dann als sogenannter Werktitel geschützt, wenn jeder zweite, zufällig ausgewählte Konsument die App mit einem bestimmten Dienstleister verbindet", erklärt Dr. Holger Gauss, Rechtsanwalt bei Grünecker, in einem Gastbeitrag für das...

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The European Patent Office announces to be ready to implement the Unitary Patent

The European Patent Office has announced that a complete secondary legal framework has been finalized which comprises implementing rules, budgetary and financial rules, the level of the renewal fees and the rules concerning the distributing of the renewal fees between the EPO and the Member States participating in the new Unitary Patent System....

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The EPO decides on burden of proof regarding the publication date of a document

In a decision of January 14, 2016 (T 2451/13 ) the standard of proof for the publication date of a document has been amended. For a brochure which is usually to be distributed in the course of business and which bears a copyright date the standard for the burden of proof is usually a balance of probability. This standard, however, is not applicable...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides over the infringement of a three dimensional mark having a secondary meaning (“Bounty”)

The plaintiff is the owner of the German trademark number 3020 1003 3190, showing the three dimensional shape of the chocolate bar “Bounty”. The defendant has – in a considerably different packaging – brought a similarly shaped chocolate bar to the market. The Cologne Higher Regional Court rejected the plaintiff’s action by reasoning that the...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides over trademark licenses in insolvency proceedings

Insolvency of a licensor can lead to considerable problems for the licensee. Often, the insolvency administrator can, in accordance with Article 103 of the German Insolvency Act, refuse to fulfill the license contract. The result can be that the licensee looses the license, and thereby its use right. In the decision of October 21, 2015, “ECOSIL” I...

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Major reform to community trademark system

On December 15, 2015 the European Parliament approved important reforms to the trademark system. The Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market will be renamed the “European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO)”, and community trademarks will be known as “European Union trademarks”. There will be a reduction for renewal fees of community...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on cease and desist claims against access provider in a copyright infringement case.

The Society for Musical Performing and Mechanical Reproduction Rights (GEMA) has sued Germany’s biggest telecommunication company, because it has rendered access for its customers to websites from which copyright protected music could be downloaded. On November 26, 2015, the German Federal Supreme Court has decided (I ZR 3/14 and I ZR 174/14) that...

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Far East ahead

In a recent commentary, journalist Christoph Behrens of German daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung warns the German car industry to oversleep change to alternative drive technologies. He relies on Grünecker´s-Car-Patent-Index to illustrate that the domestic car industry lags behind in this sector: "Currently, most patent applications for...

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The District Court in Düsseldorf decides on the Compulsory License Defense against a Standard Essential Patent

In two decisions of November 3, 2015, (4a O 93/14 and 4a O 144/14); the district court in Düsseldorf...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on the Color Mark “Red”

In a decision of November 23rd, 2015 (I ZR “Sparkassen.Rot/Santander-Rot”) the German Federal Supreme Court has set aside the decision of the Higher Regional Court Hamburg and has referred the case back. The Plaintiff is the owner of the color mark Nr. 302 11 120 “Red (HKS 13)” which has been registered for having a well-known secondary meaning....

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The German Federal Supreme Court obliges a bank to reveal the identity of a bank account holder in a trademark infringement matter

In a decision of October 21, 2015, (I ZR 51/12 – Davidoff Hot Water II) the German Federal Supreme Court had to deal with the case where obviously faked products, “Davidoff Hot Water”, have been distributed via eBay and the payment has been organized via the account of a bank. The bank has refused to reveal the identity of the account holder,...

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Rules of Procedure of the UPC (18th "final" draft)

The 18th draft (final draft) of the Rules of Procedure of the Unified Patent Court was published.

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CJEU rules in favor of SPC owners – longer terms of Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPC)

According to Article 13 (1) of Regulation (EC) No. 469/2009 two dates have to be factored in when calculating the term of a SPC, namely the date the application for the basic patent was filed and the “date of the first market authorization” in the Community. While the meaning of the former date is unequivocally clear, the meaning of the latter date...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides about the collision of a mark designation with a three-dimensional product design

By judgment of September 23, 2015 (I ZR 105/14) the German Federal Supreme Court has decided on the dispute between the companies Haribo and Lindt concerning the alleged infringement of the trademark “Goldbären” (“golden bears”) by distributing a chocolate figure wrapped in a golden foil called “Lindt Teddy” and has denied an infringement with the...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on digitized books in libraries under copyright aspects

In a decision of April 16, 2015 (I ZR 69/11) the German Federal Supreme Court had to deal with public libraries which provide in their rooms electronic reading facilities. Hereto books which are available in the inventory have been digitized to make them available at electronic reading facilities. At these reading facilities, no more specimens...

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Devising an international patent litigation strategy

Dr. Bernd Allekotte, LL.M.

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Wenn Google und Facebook Ärger haben...

Focus widmet der Kanzlei Grünecker als Top-Adresse für Patent- und Markenschutz ein mehrseitiges Portrait. Im Rahmen dieses Artikels erklären die Grünecker-Partner Dr. Bernd Allekotte und Prof. Maximilian Kinkeldey die Bedeutung ihrer Arbeit für Unternehmen aus dem In- und Ausland. "Ein gutes Patent ist wie eine Lizenz zum Gelddrucken", sagt Bernd...

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Weiter so: Autofirmen Planen die Zukunft - mit dem Verbrennungsmotor

Der Grünecker-Auto-Patentindex ist Thema auf der Titelseite der Süddeutschen Zeitung. Die Studie zeigt, dass die Patentanmeldungen für alternative Antriebstechnologien zurückgegangen sind. Währenddessen haben die Patentanmeldungen für Verbrennungsmotoren einen neuen Höchststand erreicht. Diese Entwicklung gibt Aufschluss über die Innovationen von...

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Pressemeldung Auto-Patentindex 2015

Jens C. Koch

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Pressemeldung Auto-Patentindex 2015: Autohersteller in der Zwickmühle

Die Ablösung des Benzin- und Dieselantriebs durch neuartige Antriebe bringt die Autoindustrie in eine massive Zwickmühle. Das zeigt der aktuelle Auto-Patentindex 2015 von Grünecker, einer der größten Patentkanzleien Europas mit Sitz in München.

 

Die Münchener Studie wertet veröffentlichte Patentanmeldungen aus.

 

Die wichtigsten Ergebnisse: ...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on claim construction

In a decision of June 2, 2015, (X ZR 103/13 „Kreuzgestänge“) the German Federal Supreme Court has made interesting statements regarding claim construction. The court dealing with infringement is not bound to the claim construction given by another court dealing with the patent validity, not even then if the latter court is the German Federal...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on belated defense arguments and means for attack

In a decision of June 9, 2015 (X ZR 51/13 „Einspritzventil“), the German Federal Supreme Court had to deal with belated defense arguments and means for attack. Hereto, the German Federal Supreme Court has decided that defense arguments or means for attack or a change of the action or the defense of a patent claim in a limited version, which have...

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Grünecker Markenrecht in Legal 500 Deutschland (2015): Übertrifft Erwartungen

Eine „sehr zuverlässige, zügige und kompetente Beratung“, die die Erwartungen übertreffe – so fasst Legal 500 das Urteil der Mandanten von Grünecker im Markenrecht zusammen. Das Team sei nicht nur stark im Anmeldegeschäft, sondern habe auch die Vertretung in streitigen Auseinandersetzungen bis hin zum Bundesgerichtshof ausgebaut, lobt die...

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Grünecker Patentrecht in Legal 500 Deutschland (2015): Höchst empfohlen

Von Mandanten werde die Kanzlei Grünecker „höchst und häufig empfohlen“, schreibt die Redaktion in der aktuellen Ausgabe. Grünecker decke nahezu sämtliche technischen Bereiche ab und expandiere zudem mit Mandanten im Bereich Life Sciences. Im Bereich Anmeldungen sei die Kanzlei „erstklassig“ und seit Jahren auf einer Spitzenposition im Ranking....

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Grünecker Patentprozesse in Juve (2015): Ungewöhnlich breite technische Expertise

Eine „ungewöhnlich breite technische Expertise“ sowie „Prozesserfahrung für Elektronik- und TK-Patente“ hebt die Redaktion des Juve-Handbuches 2015/16 bei Grünecker hervor. Grünecker gehört damit zu den besten 20 IP-Kanzleien im Bereich Patentprozesse. Die Patent- und Rechtsanwälte seien in einer Vielzahl von Verfahren mit breitem technischem...

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Grünecker Patentanmeldungen in Juve (2015): Eines der führenden Patentteams

Im Bereich Patentanmeldungen ist Grünecker im Juve-Handbuch 2015/6 erneut in der Spitzengruppe der besten Kanzleien Deutschlands eingestuft. Die Redaktion stellt die „sehr breit ausgerichtete Prosecutionpraxis“ bei Grünecker heraus. Die Kanzlei verfüge über eines der „führenden Patentteams“, die Patentprosecution gehöre zu den Stärken der Kanzlei.

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Referral to the Enlarged Board concerning “poisonous divisionals” and “toxic priorities”

The concept of so-called “poisonous divisionals” and “toxic priorities” has been troubling professionals and patent applicants/owners for quite some time now and many questions are still unanswered. These terms refer to cases where a European patent application of the same patent family is held against another European application or patent as...

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Market share even without patents?

In an interview with the renowned Chinese newspaper “Science and Technology Daily” regarding automobile manufacturing after the release of the Tesla patent and the Chinese Start-up “Youxia Motors”, Grünecker patent attorney Mr Yilin Jin analyses industry trends and the patent prosecution practice in this technological field. Jin concludes that...

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FRAND-RULES CLEARER AFTER CJEU RULED ON HUAWEI V. ZTE

Dr. Bernd Allekotte, LL.M. and Dr. Ulrich Blumenröder, LL.M.

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The Court of Justice of the European Union decides on a referral by the District Court Düsseldorf (in Huawei v. ZTE) on the requirements of raising the FRAND-defense.

According to the court, it does not constitute an abuse of a dominant position in the market (Art. 102 TFEU) if the patentee, based on a standard-essential patent, brings an action for rendering of accounts or an award of damages. However, if the patentee sues for an injunction or a recall of products, it has to alert the alleged infringer of the...

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PLANT PATENTS IN EUROPE

Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer und Dr. Markus Grammel

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Darf dieses Blau Nivea ganz allein gehören?

Zur Entscheidung des Bundesgerichtshofes über das Nivea-Blau sprach die Redaktion der Zeitung „Die Welt“ mit Dr. Holger Gauss, Rechtsanwalt bei Grünecker. „Ich rechne damit, dass der Fall frühestens Ende 2016 abgeschlossen sein wird“, sagt Dr. Gauss. Für Beiersdorf sei die Entscheidung des BGH vorteilhaft: Es reiche im Prinzip aus, wenn in einer...

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A Board of Appeal of the EPO decides about the necessity of second oral proceedings during examination

After first oral proceedings, the examining division was willing to grant a patent on the basis of a certain auxiliary request. The applicant, however, filed a new claim and requested second oral proceedings. The examining division did not open second oral proceedings, but rejected the application. A Board of Appeal (T 1775/12) decided on June 15,...

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The EPO is found to issue highest quality patents and offer best services

The Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) Magazine has conducted a comprehensive survey to find out the readers’ opinions on issues in the global IP market. The EPO was found to be the leading IP office in the world for both quality of patents issued and the level of service offered.

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The EPO decides on disclaimers practice in a neuronal precursor cells case

In a decision of February 26, 2015 (T 1808/13), the EPO had to deal with embryonic stem cells as well as a method for producing neuronal precursor cells. To this problem, the Enlarged Board of Appeal (G2/06) has already decided that the EPC does not allow patenting of products which at the application date could only be produced by a method that...

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Beiersdorf celebrates initial victory at the Federal Supreme Court

In the dispute over the withdrawal of the "Nivea blue" colour trademark, the "Horizont" trade journal quotes the opinion of Grünecker attorney Dr Holger Gauss. "Beiersdorf should now invest in advertising", advises Dr Gauss. Until the new consumer survey required by the Federal Patent Court began, Beiersdorf can could the opportunity to catch...

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Sparkasse banks entering into colour dispute

The Federal Patent Court has overruled the registration of a red colour trademark for the Sparkasse Financial Group. "It is almost certainly going to be difficult for the Sparkasse Group" comments Grünecker Attorney Dr Holger Gauss in the "Süddeutsche Zeitung”. Colour trademark requirements are high, and in the next stage of the proceedings at the...

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Opt-Out – Legal problems

Little has been discussed more in the drafting process than the possibility to exclude a pa-tent or patent application from the entire package. The opt-out provisions to be ob-served are Articles 83 (3) and (4) UPCA and Rules 5.1 to 5.13 RoP. While on its face eve-rything seems to be easy (“You file an opt-out with the UPC and you are out”), many...

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Juristentipp: Farbmarken

Ob Nivea-Blau, Sparkassen-Rot oder Langenscheidt-Gelb - immer wieder wird vor Gericht um Farbmarken gestritten. Dr. Nicolás Schmitz erklärt in "Werben & Verkaufen, was beim Marketing beachtet werden muss, um eine Farbmarke nicht zu gefährden.“Marketingverantwortliche müssen vor allem darauf achten, dass sie ihre Farbmarke richtig positionieren und...

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The EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal decides on clarity objections during opposition proceedings

In a decision of March 24, 2015 (G 0003/14), the Enlarged Board of Appeal clarified under which conditions clarity objections (Art. 84 EPC) can be raised in opposition proceedings. An alleged lack of clarity is not a ground of opposition but, amendments made to a claim during opposition may allow clarity objections. In the past, some Boards of...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides about „inescapable trap“ in a case concerning the German part of a European Patent

In a decision of February 17, 2015 “Wundbehandlungsvorrichtung” (X ZR 161/12) the German Federal Supreme Court had to deal with the German part of a European Patent containing a limiting feature which was not disclosed in the original application. This situation results according to the case law of the European Patent Office regularly in a complete...

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Preparatory Committee for the Unified Patent Court

Rules on Court fees and recoverable costs I. Draft Proposal for A – an amendment of Rule 370 of the Rules of Procedure B – a table of fees C – a scale of ceilings for recoverable costs

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Rules of Procedure of the UPC (17th draft)

Preliminary set of provisions for the Rules of Procedure (“Rules”) of the Unified Patent Court

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Unitary Patent EPO Rules (12-14-Draft)

Draft Rules 1 – 24 relating to unitary patent protection – consolidated version Implementation at the European Patent Office of Regulations (EU) No 1257/2012 and No 1260/2012.

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides about contributory infringement

In a decision of February 3, 2015 (X ZR 69/13 “Audiosignalcodierung”), the German Federal Supreme Court has treated interesting questions regarding contributory infringement. The patent in suit concerns a method for transmission of digitized sound signals and contains a number of decoding steps. The German Federal Supreme Court concluded that...

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CJEU to decide on UPC on May 5

The CJEU has scheduled its decisions on the Spanish complaints against the UPC package for May 5, 2015. Despite last minute open letter signed by law professors reiterating arguments brought forward in the proceedings it is widely expected that the CJEU will follow the opinion of the advocate general and dismiss Spain’s complaints.

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BGH failing to nail its colours to the mast

The dispute between Beiersdorf and Unilever over the “Nivea blue” colour trademark is entering the next round. The Federal Supreme Court (BGH) has postponed its decision until July, yet the question of the degree of recognition that a colour trademark must have in order to be protected as a trademark remains. The dispute between Beiersdorf and...

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Beiersdorf must fear for the future of its Nivea blue

Unilever has requested that the distinctive Nivea blue is no longer protected as a colour trademark. Beiersdorf must now prove that customers perceive Nivea blue as a distinct colour inherent to the brand. Grünecker Attorney Dr. Nicolás Schmitz stated to “Welt” that the undertaking of protecting the colour is “a tour de force of trademark law” -...

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Positive decision of the Enlarged Board of Appeal in the „Tomato II“ and „Broccoli II” cases

In a long awaited landmark decision in consolidated referrals G2/12 and G2/13, commonly known as Tomato II and Broccoli II, the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office on March 26, 2015 once again commented on the patentability of plants. Both referrals were concerned with the question of whether the exclusion of essentially...

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First proposal for unitary patent renewal fees

Finally, the EPO has now provided first proposals on the level of renewal fees to be paid for a unitary patent. EPO president Benoît Batistelli submitted a report to the Select Committee of the Administrative Council containing two alternative fee structures.

 

Further details may be found here.

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EPO Board of Appeal decides on clarity of a disclaimer

In a decision T2130/11 of December 2, 2014 a Board of Appeal decided that the requirement of Article 84 EPC concerning clarity is equally applicable to a disclaimer as to any other feature of a claim. This requirement may lead to a conflict with the principle laid down in the Enlarged Board of Appeal decision G1/03 saying that a disclaimer should...

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EPO Board of Appeal seeks clarity on poisonous divisional applications/priorities

In the case T0557/13, the minutes of the oral proceedings of December 17, 2014 reveal that the Board of Appeal will refer questions to the Enlarged Board of Appeal. The written reasons and the questions are not yet available. However, that they relate to the problem of so-called poisonous priorities or poisonous divisional applications. In very...

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The German Federal Supreme Court clarifies the “problem” underlying an invention

In a decision dated January 13, 2015 (X ZR 41/13) “Quetiapin” the German Federal Supreme Court deals with the “problem” underlying an invention. According to the case law of the German Federal Supreme Court, one does not necessarily have to rely on the “problem” as it is outlined in the patent description when examining an invention. Rather, it has...

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The German Federal Supreme Court defines its approach to the Doctrine of Equivalence more precisely

In a decision pronounced on January 13, 2015 (X ZR 81/13 “Cooking Vessel”) the German Federal Supreme Court defines its approach to the Doctrine of Equivalence more precisely. A judgment of the Higher Regional Court of Munich, which found infringement, has been cancelled. A solution, which does not literally infringe, can be covered by a patent...

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As of March 1, 2015, European Patents with effect in Morocco will be available

According to an agreement between the European Patent Organization and Morocco which enters into force on March 1, 2015, it will be possible to validate European Patent applications and patents in Morocco as of that date. However, this option is only available for European or International applications filed on or after March 1, 2015 and not for...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on the interpretation of a patent claim

In a decision of October 14, 2014 (X ZR 35/11) („Zugriffsrechte“), the German Federal Supreme Court has interpreted a patent claim broader than the German Federal Patent Court. As a consequence, the patent was found to be not inventive over the state of the art. The head note of the decision reads: an interpretation of a patent claim having the...

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The Unified Patent Court of the European Union shall have a local chamber in Austria

On January 20, 2015, the Council of Ministers of the European Union has decided that the Unified Patent Court of the European Union shall have a local chamber in Austria. This local chamber shall be located in the building of the Austrian Patent Office. The Unified Patent Court of the European Union has a central chamber having a main seat in Paris...

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German Courts must consider parallel decisions

In a decision of December 2, 2014 („Sitzplatznummerierungseinrichtung“ X ZB 1/13), the German Federal Supreme Court has confirmed its case law saying that German Courts have to consider parallel decisions of the European Patent Office and Courts of Member States of the European Patent Convention. A non-compliance with this requirement can be a...

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Color as trademark

The use of a particular color combination is an important element in the marketing strategy of many companies. Such colors can be protected as a trademark to defend against imitators. As a guest editor for “Markt und Mittelstand”, Dr. Holger Gauss, attorney-at-law at Grünecker, analyzes the opportunities and risks of filing a color mark, and gives...

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At the EPO several possibilities for a control of Board of Appeal decisions are discussed

At the EPO, the issue is discussed that there is no strict separation between the administration of the Office and the jurisdiction. The enlarged Board of Appeal has recently in a landmark decision (R 19/12) objected that a presiding judge at the Board of Appeal was at the same time a high-ranking member of the administration. One of the discussed...

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The Advocate General Wathelet pleads before the Court of Justice of the European Union in the FRAND case

On November 20, 2014, the Advocate General has presented his pleading in a case which was referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union by the District Court of Düsseldorf. The question was what the holder of a standard essential patent has to do before asking for an injunction against the infringer. It is clear that the patent holder has...

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The District Court of Amsterdam decides on exhaustion regarding e-Books

In a decision of July 21, 2014 the District Court of Amsterdam adopted the principles as laid down in the UsedSoft-decision (C-128/11) of the European Court of Justice and concluded that e-Books are equivalent to paper books. Any resale is allowed under the principle of exhaustion.

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The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice pleads to the action of Spain against the Unitary Patent package

On November 18, 2014 the Advocate General suggested in his pleading before the European Court of Justice that the action of Spain concerning the EU-Regulation 1257/2012 (C-146/13 and C-147/13) concerning the Unitary Patent package should be rejected. The action of Spain was primarily motivated by the fact that the Unitary Patent system leads to...

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Mobile phone developers are probably about to lose their most important patent weapon

In future, the Court of Justice of the European Union could make it considerably more difficult for manufacturers of smartphones and patent right exploiters to file actions prohibiting competitors to sell their devices. This can be seen from the final pleadings of the Advocate General as regards a preliminary ruling requested by the district court...

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Adidas wins a patent suit against Nike concerning shoe manufacture

Adidas prevails against rival Nike in a patent suit. A Nike process patent for manufacturing sport shoes was cancelled. The victory in court is likely to give Adidas a new, urgently needed tailwind in patents because, according to a survey conducted by Grünecker, Nike is presently the obvious pioneer in patents. “Die Welt” cites the author of the...

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Thorn in its side

Following years of constant growth, Adidas needs to reinvent itself, writes Wirtschaftswoche. Among other things, the editorial team sees a lack of innovative power, and proves it with a current patent survey of Grünecker. Accordingly, Nike is way ahead of Adidas in patent applications. The magazine cites the patent expert and attorney-at-law Dr....

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The European Patent Office launches „Patent Prosecution Highway“ (PPH) with Canada, Mexico, and Singapore

On the basis of bilateral agreements a “Patent Prosecution Highway” pilot program with Canada, Mexico, and Singapore shall start in 2015. Patent claims which have been found allowable by the EPO or from the patent offices of one of the respective states shall be granted quicker by the partner patent office. Already existing work results from the...

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A Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office decides about requests filed in the oral hearing

In a decision of September 26, 2014 (T 1888/11) a Board of Appeal had to decide about requests which have not been filed earlier than in the Oral Hearing. The patentee has made an attempt with these requests to overcome objections due to undue broadening. The objection of undue broadening was not entirely new in the proceeding. However, the Board...

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IAM Yearbook 2015

Dr. Bernd Allekotte, Dr. Ulrich Blumenröder

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The Preparatory Committee of the Unified Patent Court is updating its Roadmap

In September 2014, the Preparatory Committee has updated its Roadmap () giving an overview over the already work completed, the status of several drafts among others concerning the Rules of Procedure, the Court fees and the Litigation Certificate for patent attorneys, the financial aspects, the facilities of the Court as well as human resources and...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on the Scope of Protection of a Color Trademark

In a decision of September 18, 2014 (I ZR 228/12 “Yellow Dictionaries”) the German Federal Supreme Court concluded that a defendant who distributed language learning software for 33 languages in a yellow packaging together with its own logo infringes the color mark “YELLOW” for bilingual dictionaries in print form of the plaintiff. The color...

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Nespresso knickt ein

Der Kaffee-Spezialist Nespresso will künftig in Frankreich Wettbewerber unterstützen, Kapseln für Nespresso-Maschinen zu entwickeln. Die Redaktion der Tageszeitung „Die Welt“ sprach dazu mit Martin Dropmann, Patentanwalt im Kölner Büro von Grünecker. Dropmann erklärte, dass für diesen Fall zu beurteilen sei, ob Nespresso eine marktbeherrschende...

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Advocate General of the CJEU: Stem cells from parthenotes are patentable

Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer, Dr. Markus Grammel

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Recent Decisions of the European Court of Justice of the European Union on SPCs: A few Answers – Many Questions

Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer, Dr. Benjamin Quest, Dr. Markus Grammel

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The Colour Yellow

The dictionaries of the Langenscheidt publishing house appear in yellow. Also yellow, one of its competitors packs up its language learning software - it may not use this colour, though, decided the German Federal Supreme Court now. “Handelsblatt” talked about this decision with Dr. Holger Gauss, attorney-at-law at Grünecker. Dr. Gauss appreciates...

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The German Federal Supreme Court sends a case back to the Higher Regional Court

In a decision of May 6, 2014 (X ZR 36/13) the German Federal Supreme Court concluded that the Higher Regional Court has not properly dealt with the question of patent infringement under the doctrine of equivalence. This line of argumentation, however, was brought forward by the plaintiff in the first and second instance. The German Federal Supreme...

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A Board of Appeal of the EPO decides on the admissibility of patent claims in the second instance

In a decision from July 15, 2014 (T 0036/12) a Board of Appeal had to deal with a main request and an auxiliary request having a scope broader than those considered in the appealed decision. The Board of Appeal did not accept these claim requests based on the argument that they have not been the object of the decision under appeal, since during the...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on transit of patent infringing items

In a decision of June 25, 2014 (X ZR 72/13) the German Federal Supreme Court confirmed its view that the mere transit of patent infringing items does not constitute patent infringement because it is not an import for marketing purposes in the Federal Republic of Germany. Even questions of import taxation are of no relevance in that context. A...

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The European Court of Justice had to decide regarding the registration of a Trademark showing the Apple “flagship store”

In a decision of July 10, 2014 (C – 421/13) the European Court of Justice had to deal with a three-dimensional mark showing the Apple “flagship store”. The background was that the German Federal Patent Court has addressed several questions in this context to the European Court of Justice. The critical issue was for which kind of services the...

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Trademark protection for Apple stores

The Court of Justice of the European Union confirms that Apple can have its concept for setting up and designing its stores protected as a trademark. The Handelsblatt discusses the matter with Dr. Nicolás Schmitz, Specialist Intellectual Property Attorney at the Munich office of the law firm of Grünecker. Dr. Nicolás Schmitz expects that very many...

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Judgment: Store design protectable as a trademark

Apple can have the design of its stores protected as a trademark. The leading textile industry magazine, Textilwirtschaft, quoted Dr. Nicolás Schmitz, intellectual property attorney at the Munich office of the law firm of Grünecker, saying that this decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union was also a signpost for the fashion industry....

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The UK High Court of Justice grants a declaration of non-infringement (DNI) with cross-border effect

In a decision of May 15, 2014, the High Court of Justice has granted a DNI not only with effect to the UK, but also with effect to France, Italy and Spain. The Court concluded that the law applicable to the question whether the plaintiff is entitled to a DNI is English law. However, even if French, Italian and Spanish law is applicable, the Court...

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A Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office refuses to transfer oral proceedings from The Hague to Munich

In a decision of April 8, 2014 (T 1142/12), the Board of Appeal ruled that the EPO is organized whereby in the case that the Examining Division is located in The Hague, oral proceedings are to be held in The Hague and when the Examining Division is located in Munich, oral proceedings are to be held in Munich. This rule is based on a management...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on claim interpretation

In a decision of April 1, 2014, the German Federal Supreme Court has revoked a first instance decision of the German Federal Patent Court in an invalidity case (X ZR 31/11). Crucial was the interpretation of a claim concerning a “tyre removal machine … comprising a device in accordance with claims 1 to 12”. The first instance has come to the...

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The European Patent Office decides on staying the granting proceedings

In a decision of November 14, 2013 which has just been published, a Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (J 0014/11) had to decide on an appeal against the decision of an Examining Division to continue the patent prosecution despite the fact that there was at a German Court an action pending concerning the inventorship and the right to the...

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The enemy of Apple is becoming creative

Patent developers such as IPCom are no longer concentrating exclusively on acquiring a lot of smallish patents and collecting license fees for them. Although this approach is lucrative, at the same time it does, however, earn these firms a bad name. This is reported by the daily paper Handelsblatt on June 5, 2014. Those who are in the know about...

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It has been a year since the referral to the CJEU re. FRAND terms by the District Court Düsseldorf - what has happened in the meantime?

Sebastian Ochs

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The European Commission decides on competition rules in the context of standard essential patents

In two decisions of April 29, 2014, the European Commission has clarified its understanding of how standard essential patents shall be used within the European Community by complying with EU anti-trust rules. In one case(Samsung), the Commission has accepted legally binding commitments on standard essential patents to the extent that Samsung will...

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Catch a fish on the Net

Once successful products dominate the market it often does not take long before the first imitation is offered on the internet. In that respect, entrepreneurs are not as defenseless as they often think. Dr. Nicolás Schmitz, intellectual property attorney at the law firm of Grünecker (Munich office), knows that sales platforms such as Amazon and...

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The European Court of Justice decides on the liability of an Internet access provider

In a decision of March 27, 2014 (C-314/12), the European Court of Justice had to decide on the admissibility of specific court orders rendered by national courts against Internet access providers. National courts are allowed to grant an injunction prohibiting an Internet access provider from allowing its customers access to a website placing...

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German Federal Supreme Court decides on statute of limitations in employed inventors matters

In a decision of November 26, 2013 (X ZR 3/13) the German Federal Supreme Court had to decide about the statute of limitation regarding claims raised by an employed inventor. According to the German Employees Inventor Act the inventor and the employer have the option to contact an arbitration body established at the German Patent and Trademark...

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Germany will have four local chambers in the Unified Patent System

The four patent chambers in the European Unified Patent System in Germany will be in Düsseldorf, Mannheim, Munich and Hamburg. These Unified Patent Courts will start their work in Germany together with the implementation of the EU-Patent. The member states of the European Union can build local or regional chambers usually one chamber per member...

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Benefits through filing actions in Germany

There is scarcely another device in existence containing as many patents as a smartphone. In the cell phone industry patent suits therefore form part of the day-to-day business. Such disputes mostly take place in Germany. Patent suits are concluded faster in Germany than in the USA, and are noticeably more cost-effective, explains Dr. Bernd...

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The European Court of Justice decides about Hyperlinks and Copyright

In the decision of February 13, 2014 (C-466/12) the European Court of Justice came to the conclusion that the owner of an Internet page is allowed to refer to copyright protected works which are accessible through a third party’s Internet page via a hyperlink and without the permission of the copyright owner. The European Court of Justice stated in...

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German Federal Supreme Court decides about „Typo Domain Names”

In a decision of January 22, 2014 (I ZR 164/12 the First Division of the German Federal Supreme Court which is competent for unfair competition has rendered a judgement on “Typo Domain Names”. The plaintiff provides weather forecast services under the domain name “www.wetteronline.de”. The defendant offers private health insurances under the domain...

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The General Court of the European Union denies trademark protection for the “Button in the Ear”

In a decision of January 16, 2014 the 5th Chamber of the General Court of the European Union has rejected in the legal matter T-433/12 the action of a trademark applicant for registration of a position mark for a shining or dim round metal button in the ear of a plush toy. According to the Court this trademark lacks distinction. First of all, this...

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The Select Committee of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organization prepares Unitary Patent Protection

The EPO will be entrusted by EU Member States with the administration of procedures in accordance with Article 9.1 of the EU Regulation No. 1257/2012. Hereto the Committee has finished its first reading of the draft rules relating to the unitary patent protection. These draft rules deal with the procedures that will be administered by the EPO....

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A Technical Board of Appeal Decides on the burden of proof regarding alleged effects of an invention

In a decision of November 26, 2013 a Technical Board of Appeal (T 0099/10) has shifted the burden of proof concerning alleged effects of an invention to the patentee. The Board held that if a technical problem set out in a patent is considered to be credibly solved by a claimed invention and if there are no reasons to assume the contrary, it is...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on the patentability of a dosage of a pharmaceutical

On September 24, 2013, the German Federal Supreme Court has, in its decision "Fettsäuren" (X ZR 40/12) reversed a decision of the German Federal Patent Court and revoked a patent in its entirety. The Supreme Court has confirmed its case law according to which the disclosed discovery of the biological reasons of the effect on which a pharmaceutical...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on copyright protection for applied arts

In a Decision of November 13, 2013 (I ZR 143/12 "Geburtstagszug") the Supreme Court has revised its longstanding case law: Contrary to earlier case law, the standard for accepting copyright protection for applied arts is the same as that for copyright protection for fine arts. The previous case law, according to which the standard regarding...

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Grünecker distinguished as the law firm of the year for IP

Grünecker receives the JUVE award as “law firm of the year for IP”. The editorial team of the specialist journal JUVE distinguishes law firms which, based on their operations and market position, are seen to be especially dynamic.

 

The JUVE editorial staff points out that Grünecker has excelled in this respect in all areas of expertise under...

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EPO repeals restrictions on filing divisional applications

In its October meeting, the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organization decided to repeal the restrictions on filing divisional applications which were introduced in 2010. As of April 1, 2014, it will again be possible to file a divisional application based on any pending patent application. The 24-month time limits for the filing of...

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The Five Largest Intellectual Property Offices (IP5) agree on the Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Programme

As of January 2014, a comprehensive IP5 Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Programme of the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japanese Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) shall be ...

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The German Federal Supreme Court Decides on the Undue Broadening of a Utility Model

In a decision of August 6, 2013, “Ink-jet Printer” (X ZB 2/12), the German Federal Supreme Court has dealt with the consequences of an undue broadening of a utility model claim. As long as not “something entirely different” has been claimed and as long as the originally claimed subject matter only has been limited, it is not necessary to invalidate...

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The Enlarged Board of Appeal Sends Case back to the Board of Appeal

In a Decision of May 13, 2013 (R 0015/11), the Enlarged Board of Appeal saw the right to be heard in the sense of Article 113(1) EPC to be violated and has sent the case back. Moreover, a request was made that the members of the Board of Appeal, who participated in this decision under review, be replaced. However, this request was rejected. In the...

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Informationen für Markeninhaber zum Schutz ihrer Marken im Zuge der Einführung der neuen Top Level Domainnamen (gTLD)

Anja Franke

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Verlorenes Terrain

Die Patente für Elektrofahrzeuge liegen zum großen Teil nicht in Deutschland. Und schon gar nicht bei der Automobilindustrie. Bei Elektrofahrzeugen stammen 40 Prozent der Patentanmeldungen von den Top-Anmeldern. Bei Hybridfahrzeugen sind es dagegen mehr als doppelt so viel, heisst in einem Bericht der Süddeutschen Zeitung über die...

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Autoindustrie verliert Dominanz in der E-Auto-Forschung

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Die weltweite Forschung für Elektro-Autos erreicht einen neuen Höhepunkt. 2012 wurden mit gut 6.000 Patentanmeldungen so viele Innovationen für Elektro-Autos geschützt wie noch nie. Das sind mehr als doppelt so viele Patentanmeldungen wie für Hybrid-Fahrzeuge.

 

Die Kerntechnologien des E-Autos kommen dabei jedoch immer...

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Austria is the First Country which Ratifies the Unified Patent Court Agreement

In February of 2013, 24 Member States of the European Union have signed an agreement concerning the Unified Patent Court. It has to be ratified by at least 13 Member States, amongst them France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Now, Austria took that step as a first Member State and has deposited the ratification instruments in Brussels. Since the...

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The German Federal Supreme Court Decides about the Trade with Used Software

In a decision of July 17, 2013 (UsedSoft II, I ZR 129/08) the German Federal Supreme Court has clarified the rules regarding the exhaustion of distribution rights of a copyright owner: The producer of computer software has stipulated in the license agreements with his customers that the right to use the computer program cannot be transferred. The...

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FRAND-based litigation and competition issues in Europe

Bernd Allekotte

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US Supreme Court: Natural Genes not patentable

The US Supreme Court decided: Genes occurring in nature, which can easily be extracted from the DNA, are not patentable. The consequences for both existing and future patents are far-reaching – in certain circumstances not only for those aiming to protect DNA. Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer, biochemist and patent expert at the Grünecker firm, Munich,...

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The Technical Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office Refers Questions to the Enlarged Board of Appeal

In a Decision of July 9, 2013 (T 00 83/05; G 2/13) the Technical Board of Appeal has referred several questions concerning the exclusion of essentially biological processes from patent protection to the enlarged Board of Appeal, namely: whether the exclusion of essentially biological processes for the production of plants in Article 53 b) EPC can...

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Red Soles Aren’t Made for Walking

Many fashion brands popular in Europe are often the target of counterfeiting. The laws of the European Union and several member states provide effective measures for combating counterfeits in the fashion field, writes Dr. Holger Gauss in an editorial for the magazine Landslide. The magazine is published by the American Bar Association (ABA) an...

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The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union Accepts Regulation (EU) No. 608/2013 Concerning Customs Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights

As of January 1, 2014, the new Regulation (EU) No. 608/2013 concerning customs enforcement of intellectual property rights will be applicable and repeal Council Regulation (EC) No. 1383/2003. The new regulation will not apply to goods carried by passengers in their personal luggage provided that those goods are for their own personal use and there...

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Red Soles Aren’t Made for Walking: A Comparative Study of European Fashion Laws

Holger Gauss, Boriana Guimberteau, Simon Bennett, Lorenzo Litta

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides about damage claims in a contributory infringement case as well as the transfer of the patent during infringement proceedings

In a decision of May 7, 2013 (“Fräsverfahren”; X ZR 69/11) the German Federal Supreme Court has annihilated the decision of the Higher Regional Court of Munich and referred the case back. A contributory infringement was committed by offering means for the implementation of the invention. However, the patentee has had no evidence that a direct...

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US Court restricts patent protection for human genes

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided that genes are no longer subject to US patent protection unless they have been chemically modified. The editorial team spoke to Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer about further consequences of the judgment.

Zimmer warns that, following this decision, other natural substances, such as proteins, antibodies or micro-organisms,...

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The First Decision on the Unitary Patent: the Court Dismissed the Actions of Spain and Italy

In this recent decision, the Court ruled upon the Council’s decision to authorise the enhanced cooperation in the area of the Unitary Patent. The dismissal of two actions (with similar pleas) filed by Italy and Spain could have been a precedent on when and how EU Member States can make use of the tool of enhanced cooperation in general. However,...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides about parallel actions of a patentee and an exclusive licensee

In a decision of February 19, 2013 (X ZR 70/12) the German Federal Supreme Court had to decide on the following case: a patentee has filed a patent infringement action against an infringer and thereafter granted an exclusive license regarding the patent in suit to a third party. Then even the exclusive licensee has filed a patent infringement...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides about the transfer of a priority claim

In a decision of April 16, 2013 (X ZR 49/12) the German Federal Supreme Court came to the conclusion that the transfer of the right to claim a priority of a German patent application is not subject of a form requirement even if the priority shall be claimed for the benefit of a European patent application. In this case the validity of the...

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The European Commission expresses its view on standard essential patents

The European Commission has sent to companies "objections on potential misuse of mobile phone standard essential patents”. In principle an infringer of standard essential patents can defend himself with the argument that he is willing to enter into a license agreement under "Fair Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND)" conditions. However,...

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German Federal Patent Court Refers Question Regarding a Color Mark to the European Court of Justice

In two proceedings 33 W (PAT) 103/9 and 33 W (PAT) 33/12 (decision) the validity of the color mark “Red”, which has been registered as a color since 2007 on behalf of German Savings Bank and Giro Association and which has been used starting from the last century, namely during the 1960s and 1970s, is at issue. Two banks, which are competitors, have...

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European Court of Justice Rejects Spain’s and Italy’s Actions against the Unitary Patent System

The council of the European Union has allowed in total 25 European member states to create a Unitary Patent System based on the so-called enhanced cooperation which is possible under the TFEU. The attempt of Italy and Spain to challenge this decision has now been rejected by the European Court of Justice in a decision of April 16, 2013 Cases...

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Düsseldorf District Court enforces a break in the cell phone patent war

Düsseldorf District Court inquires with the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) what the procedure will be in future for disputes on standard essential patents. In the Frankfurter Allgemeine, Dr. Bernd Allekotte, Patent Litigation Expert at Grünecker, welcomes this step taken by the Düsseldorf Court. It is important to align case law,...

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Schwellenländer könnten Indien im Patentstreit folgen

Indiens Oberster Gerichtshof hat den Patentschutz für das Krebsmittel Glivec abgelehnt. Das Novartis-Medikament sei keine Neuheit. Nach Einschätzung von Patentanwalt Dr. Jens Hammer von der Kanzlei Grünecker könnten die BRIC-Staaten dem Beispiel Indiens folgen, schreibt die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. In Indien sei schon seit längerem eine...

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Update concerning the FRAND objection – The Landgericht (District Court) of Düsseldorf presents questions concerning the basic prerequisites of the FRAND objection to the European Court of Justice

Sebastian Ochs

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The Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office refuses new arguments in appeal pro-ceedings

In a decision of March 7, 2013 (T 0494/11) a board of appeal of the EPO has not admitted the amendment of a parties case during appeal proceedings. An opponent has introduced one month before the scheduled oral proceedings a patent application to show that the claimed prior-ity was not the first application in the sense of Article 87 (1) EPC....

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The District Court of Dusseldorf refers a case to the European Court of Justice

In a decision of March 21, 2013 (4b O 104/12), the District Court of Dusseldorf has referred several questions relating to standard essential patents to the European Court of Justice. The background is that the German Federal Supreme Court has defined in a landmark decision (KZR 39/6) “Orange – Book – Standard” rather harsh pre-conditions, under...

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EU Commission makes a statement on the FRAND objection

Sebastian Ochs

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Signing of the Unified Patent Court Agreement

On February 19, 2013, the International Agreement for Establishing a Unified Patent Court was signed. To come into force, the Unified Patent Court Agreement must be ratified by at least 13 of the contracting European Union member states including France, Germany and the United Kingdom. The Court of the First Instance has a central division which...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides about reimbursement of costs in patent nullity proceedings

At the German Federal Patent Court, different chambers have rendered in the past contradicting decisions as to the question of reimbursable costs in patent nullity proceedings. Now, the German Federal Supreme Court has clarified this issue in two decisions dated December 18, 2012 (X ZB 6/12 and X ZB 11/12): If there is a parallel patent...

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Urteil über Sparkassen-Rot verschoben

Die Sparkassen und die spanische Banco Santander streiten vor dem Bundespatentgericht über die Verwendung der Markenfarbe Rot. Das Handelsblatt befragt Markenexpertin Anja Franke von der Kanzlei Grünecker zu den möglichen Auswirkungen einer Entscheidung. Nach Ansicht von Franke wäre eine Löschung der Farbmarke ein GAU für die Sparkassen. Eine...

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Grünecker strengthens its trademark law and litigation practice with new partners

Grünecker has expanded its senior management, and is appointing Anja Franke, Nicolás Schmitz and Dr. Holger Gauss partners. The information service Platow Online reports on the latter, presenting three brief profiles of the three specialist lawyers.

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Nike outshines Adidas when it comes to patents

As per a recent survey conducted by the law firm of Grünecker, the manufacturer of sports articles, Nike, has filed far more sports clothing and sports boot patent applications than its direct competitors. This head start will be difficult for the German sports goods industry to catch up on, comments the author of the survey, Dr. Ulrich...

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Patentcheck Sportartikelhersteller: Nike hält Pole-Position bei Patenten

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Egal, ob Schuhe, Kleidung oder Sportgeräte: Nike meldet von den fünf Top-Sportartikelherstellern mit Abstand die meisten europäischen Patente an. Das zeigt eine aktuelle Untersuchung der renommierten Patent- und Rechtsanwaltskanzlei Grünecker anlässlich der Messe ISPO in München. Allein für Schuhe hat Nike in den vergangenen...

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The European Court of Justice Decides about International Jurisdiction for Negative Declaratory Actions

In a decision of October 25, 2012, (C-133/11), the European Court of Justice has answered questions of the German Federal Supreme Court regarding the international jurisdiction for negative declaratory actions: the place of jurisdiction in case of a tortuous act is defined by that place where the damaging event has occurred or is likely to occur....

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The District Court of Cologne Decides about the Infringement of a Word-mark by a Chocolate Teddy Bear

In a decision of December 28, 2012 (33 O 803/11) Gold Bears, the District Court of Cologne concluded that marketing a chocolate teddy bear wrapped in gold foil infringes the renowned word-mark “Gold Bears” of the plaintiff. The decision is of importance because so far there is no Supreme Court case law regarding the infringement of a word-mark ...

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Neue Partner bei Grünecker

Grünecker ernennt die drei Fachanwälte Anja Franke, Nicolás Schmitz und Dr.

Holger Gauss zu Partnern und baut damit die Führungsspitze der Kanzlei aus.

Die Fachdienste RWS und Nomos greifen diese Nachricht auf und stellen die drei neuen Partner vor.

 

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Patent protection should follow the markets

Venture capital investors should make sufficient capital available to start-ups to enable them to develop a portfolio of intellectual property rights. This is what Dr. Patrick Erk, Patent Attorney, from the law firm of Grünecker, points out in his third party contribution for VC-Magazin. In his article, Dr. Erk explains the options with which...

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The German Federal Supreme Court Decides about Keyword-Advertising

In a decision of December 13, 2012 (I ZR 217/10), the German Federal Supreme Court did not see it as a trademark infringement that a competitor has used the trademark “MOST” as a keyword. According to the German Federal Supreme Court, there is in general no confusion about the origin of goods if, after using a keyword, the advertisement which pops...

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EU Parliament and EU Competitiveness Council vote in favour of the unitary patent

On December 10 and 11, 2012, the European Competitiveness Council as well as the European Parliament voted in favour of the current unitary patent package. The following day, the Advocate General proposed that the Court of Justice of the EU should reject the corresponding pleas put forward by Spain and Italy and, consequently, dismiss both actions....

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The German Federal Supreme Court Decides about a Novelty of a Substance Composition

In a decision of October 23, 2012 (X ZR 120/11) the German Federal Supreme Court decided that a substance composition which is available on the market is not new if it can be analyzed by the skilled person and reproduced without undue effort. If the composition is complex and cannot be easily identified, it is nevertheless novelty destroying if the...

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Unitary Patent Regulation 1257-2012

REGULATION (EU) No 1257/2012 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 17 December 2012 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection

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Unitary Patent Language Regulation

COUNCIL REGULATION (EU) No 1260/2012 of 17 December 2012 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection with regard to the applicable translation arrangements

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After 30 years: Finally true unitary European patent

Dr. Ulrich Blumenröder

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Patent and pricing policy in India - drug makers need to rethink their corporate strategies

India is becoming a difficult market for the pharmaceuticals industry, comments Dr. Jens Hammer, Patent Attorney at the law firm of Grünecker, in a third party contribution for Chemanager. In his article, he points out certain peculiarities in India.

Besides the issue of requiring drug makers to mandatorily grant licenses in respect of their drug...

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The Enlarged Board of Appeal of the EPO Refers a Case Back to the Board of Appeal

In a decision of June 15, 2012, (R 0021/11), the Enlarged Board of Appeal has referred a case back to the Board of Appeal due to deficiencies of the proceedings. In the objected proceedings, an expert opinion has not been considered and a request for admission of the expert opinion to the proceedings has been left unanswered. The deficiency in the...

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The German Federal Supreme Court Decides About Patentability of Neural Precursor Cells

In a decision of November 27, 2012 (X ZR 58/07) the German Federal Supreme Court decided about a patent concerning neural precursor cells and their therapeutic use to treat neural defects in man and animals. Upon reference to the European Court of Justice, the latter has decided (C-34/10-Brüstle/Greenpeace) that any human ovum as of its...

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German Federal Supreme Court Decides About Procedural Rules in Nullity Appeal Proceedings

The decision of August 28, 2012 (X ZR 99/11) concerns the question to what extent new evidence and new lines of argumentations are admissible during appeal proceedings in patent nullity matters before the German Federal Supreme Court. Hereto the Court concluded that submitting for the first time in appeal proceedings, an expert opinion is...

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German Federal Supreme Court Decides About Products Directly Obtained by a Patent Protected Method

In a decision of August 21, 2012, the German Federal Supreme Court (X ZR 33/10) decided that video data sets representing a sequence of video pictures can be a product protected under Article 9, sentence 2, number 3 German Patent Act, as an item directly obtained by a patent protected method. Because this sequence of data is to be regarded as a...

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Sales prohibitions, such as in the cases of Apple vs. Samsung or Nike vs. Adidas: What does that mean for retailing?

Judicially enforced sales prohibitions following patent disputes unsettle retailers. The specialist journal Der Handel interviews Dr. Ulrich Blumenroeder, Attorney-at-Law, of the law firm of Grünecker, about possible consequences of such sales prohibitions. Dr. Blumenroeder emphasizes that the retail industry is still in a position to continue to...

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The German Federal Supreme Court defines the exchange of parts versus new-manufacture

In the decision of July 17, 2012 (X ZR 97/11 „Palettenbehälter II“)

the German Federal Supreme Court has defined the patent-free exchange of parts versus a patent infringing new-manufacture. A decisive criterion is whether the exchange is according to the customary usage in the trade is a matter of usual maintenance, which does not change the...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on staying the infringement proceedings due to parallel patent nullity proceedings

In the Decision of July 17, 2012 (X ZR 77/11 „Verdichtungsvorrichtung“)

the German Federal Supreme Court had to decide under which conditions after a final judgment in the patent nullity proceedings, a patent infringement case can be stayed due to new nullity proceedings. The German Federal Supreme Court concluded that further staying the...

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Patents and Standards: Recent Developments in Germany

Dr. Ulrich Blumenröder

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German Federal Supreme Court decides about the continuation of a sub licence upon termination of the main licence

In a decision of July 19, 2012 (I ZR 70/10) the German Federal Supreme Court came to the conclusion that the termination of a main licence, for example due to the non payment of licence fees, does not result in the termination of a sub licence which has been granted by the main licensee. According to the German Federal Supreme Court the interests...

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The German Federal Supreme Court grants extensive right to information against internet provider

In a decision of April 19, 2012 (I ZB 80/11) the German Federal Supreme Court concluded that copy right owners have a right to information concerning name and address of the user of an IP-address which has contributed in an unauthorized manner to an online file-sharing system by providing a copyright protected opus. The right to information does...

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The European Court of Justice in Luxemburg allows the sale of used software

The German Federal Supreme Court has referred questions about the interpretation of the Directive on the legal protection on computer programs to the European Court of Justice. Hereto the Court came to the conclusion that the right to distribute a copy of the program is exhausted with the first sale. It does not matter whether a data storage medium...

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Council of Europe Agrees on seat of Patent Court in Paris

On June 29, 2012, the Council of Europe has agreed that the main seat of the European Patent Court shall be in Paris. In addition to this main seat, the Court shall have two branches, one in London for biotech and pharmaceutical patents and one in Munich for mechanical engineering patents and administration. The European Parliament, however, has...

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When a design turns into a trademark

No matter whether a Granini drinking bottle, a Porsche 911 or a Birkin Bag is concerned, more and more companies are protecting the shape of their products with a 3D trademark. This protection is possible not only for new products, but also for well-established products, explains Dr. Nicolas Schmitz in a long article in the FAZ. The trademark...

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German Federal Supreme Court decides about inventiveness requirement

In a decision of May 15, 2012, the German Federal Supreme Court adopted a rather high standard for inventiveness and came to another conclusion than a Dutch court. The German Federal Supreme Court confirmed the decision of the German Federal Patent Court revoking a patent for lack of inventiveness. According to the German Federal Supreme Court it...

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EPO Board of Appeal refers case to the Enlarged Board of Appeal

In a decision of May 31, 2012, a Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office has referred a case to the Enlarged Board of Appeal in order to obtain clarification about several questions of law. The patent claims at issue are directed to transgenic plants which are not directly excluded from patentability under Article 53(b) EPC. The Enlarged...

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Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office decides about public availability of a document stored on the World Wide Web

In a decision of March 12, 2012 a Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office decided on a test case under which conditions a document stored on the World Wide Web is publically available and forms state of the art. The board of appeal required “direct and unambiguous access” to the means of disclosure as opposed to a mere theoretical possibility...

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Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office decides about admissibility of new arguments during appeal proceedings

In a now published decision of September 22, 2011 a Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office relied on the rule that the statement of grounds of appeal must contain the party’s complete case. It should set out clearly and concisely the reasons why it is requested that the decision under appeal be reversed. It should specify expressly all...

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The District Court Hamburg decides about copyright infringements on “YouTube”

In a decision of April 20, 2012 the District Court Hamburg concluded that the video platform YouTube is only liable for copyright infringements committed by its users if certain control obligations have been violated. If YouTube has been informed about a copyright infringement an immediate reaction, namely blocking the video in question is...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides about venue of German courts in case of international trademark infringement (“Oscar”)

In a decision of March 8, 2012 the German Federal Supreme Court concluded that in international trademark infringement cases the jurisdiction of German courts is only given if there is a relevant infringement within Germany. This requires a “commercial effect” in Germany. It has to be determined whether the infringement can be avoided which is...

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Nokia und HTC düpieren Patentverwerter IPCom

Das Europäische Patentamt (EPO) hat ein wichtiges Schutzrecht des Patentverwerters IPCom für nichtig erklärt. Nur einen Tag zuvor hatte IPCom mit diesem Patent vor dem Landgericht Düsseldorf Recht bekommen und ein Verkaufsverbot für Handys von Nokia und HTC erstritten. IPCom geht gegen die Entscheidung des Patentamts in Berufung. Das Urteil aus der...

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Resistance against the ACTA Convention as it provokes the German economy

Numerous politicians are speaking out against the ACTA Convention, and that already several weeks before the voting takes place in the European Parliament. Trade associations and industry take a stance against the latter, and disapprove of withdrawing from the Anti-Piracy Convention. Dr. Holger Gauss, Attorney-at-Law specializing in Industrial...

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The Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office decides about the right to be heard

In a decision of September 29, 2011, the Enlarged Board of Appeal has accepted a request for review of a decision of the Technical Board of Appeal according to Article 112a EPC and has referred the case back to the Technical Board of Appeal. The Technical Board of Appeal has at the same time decided about novelty and inventive step without...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides about the burden of proof with regard to exhaustion in trademark cases

In two parallel decisions of March 15, 2012 (I ZR 52/10 and I ZR 137/10), the German Federal Supreme Court concluded that in principle the defendant has the burden of proof that the accused products are original products and trademark rights exhausted. However, the trademark owner who alleges a product counterfeit has to substantiate some hints and...

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Dam bursts in India

The Indian Patent Office is forcing the pharmaceutical manufacturer Bayer to hand over the patent for its anti-cancer medication Nexavar. It is the first time a judgment to grant a compulsory license has been issued under Indian patent law regulations. Dr. Jens Hammer represents pharmaceutical companies from Europe and the USA. In the interview,...

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Pharmaceutical pirates at the Indian Patent Office

The Indian patent authority is issuing a precedent decision against Bayer, the pharmaceutical company, granting a manufacturer of generic drugs a compulsory license for patented medication. Dr. Jens Hammer suggests that the pharmaceutical industry, which bases its products on research, will view the judgment as dispossession. According to the...

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Bayer kassiert Niederlage in Indien

Das Pharmaunternehmen Bayer muss in Indien Generika für sein Krebsmittel akzeptieren. Diese Entscheidung des indischen Patentamts könnte für viele westliche Pharmafirmen Folgen haben. Dr. Jens Hammer befürchtet, dass auch andere Länder sich in diesem Punkt an Indien orientieren könnten und diese Entscheidung nun mit Interesse verfolgen. Besonders...

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The Higher Regional Court Karlsruhe decides about compulsory license defense

On February 27, 2012, the Higher Regional Court Karlsruhe has rendered a decision defining the requirements of a successful compulsory license defense in a precise manner. The plaintiff tried to enforce a first instance judgement which found infringement of patents covering the GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) standard. The defendant offered the...

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The German Federal Ministry of Justice has rendered a draft amendment of the Insolvency Act

If the licensor of intellectual property rights undergoes insolvency proceedings, the consequence can be that the licensee loses its license rights. A draft of the German Federal Ministry of Justice suggests amending that in that the license rights of the licensee remain – at least partly - in force. The licensee can claim that a license contract...

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The EU-Commission plans to strengthen the rights of IP owners against infringements on the internet

The EU-Commission has rendered a road-map to amend the enforcement directive. IP owners, specifically small and medium sized companies, shall be in a better position to fight against infringements on the Internet. This includes the right to obtain relevant data from third-parties, mainly providers, as well as quick proceedings to stop the...

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Brussels pushes ACTA aside on its agenda

The European Commission is requesting the Court of Justice of the European Communities to assess the disputed anti-piracy convention. It is said to be possible through ACTA to combat trademark and product piracy. Dr. Holger Gauss, Attorney-at-Law specializing in Industrial Property suggests that the industry stands a better chance of asserting its...

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Trading with the EU: Indian patent legislation slow to progress

At the Twelfth EU/India summit, besides the free trade agreement intellectual property is also to be given strength. That is of enormous significance for German businesses. In an interview with the Handelsblatt, Jens Christian Koch argues that patent law is still in the process of being developed in India. The patent attorney oftentimes goes to...

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Patent litigation: outcome uncertain

At the twelfth EU-India Summit the Indian patent law was a central topic next to free trade-related issues. The patent-law expert Jens Christian Koch detects positive developments in this area. For instance, companies from abroad can now enforce their patent rights by means of interim injunctions. There are also transparent rules regarding patent...

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Battles for key patents

The 15 biggest car manufacturers worldwide published a record number of 1151 patents for electric and hybrid vehicles in 2011. This was discovered in a study conducted by the Munich law firm. From a German point of view it is particularly noticeable that the Japanese groups Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Suzuki hold a market share of about 75%; Daimler,...

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The German Federal Supreme Court confirms its case law regarding use claims

In a decision, the German Federal Supreme Court has confirmed its case law according to which in a patent invalidity proceeding changing of a device claim into a use claim is admissible. It is mandatory that the patentee who has obtained during patent prosecution a too broad device claim gets a fair protection if his inventive contribution is...

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European Court of Justice (ECJ) Decides against Stem Cell Patent

On October 18, 2011, the ECJ rendered its decision in the matter C-34/10, the so-called “Brüstle” patent, in which the Bonn, Germany-based stem cell researcher Oliver Brüstle claimed cells which had been isolated from a human embryo. As part of its decision, the ECJ had to interpret the term “embryo”. According to the European Biotechnology...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on doctrine of equivalence

In a decision the German Federal Supreme Court has rendered further guidelines regarding the doctrine of equivalence. If a technical solution is disclosed or rendered obvious in a patent description, but, for whatever reasons, not claimed, this solution in general does neither constitute literal patent infringement nor infringement under the...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on unfair competition by using similar signs

An original equipment manufacturer has marked packages of ink cartridges with different signs like a teddy bear, a duck or an umbrella. The purpose was to facilitate, for the user, the classification of a certain ink cartridge to a certain printer. The original equipment manufacturer filed suit on the basis of unfair competition allegations against...

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The European Court of Justice decides on “Keyword Advertising”

In a decision the European Court of Justice decided on using third parties’ trademarks in an internet search engine (“Keyword Advertising”) under the aspect of trademark infringement. The Court sees an infringement if that use of the keyword is liable to have an adverse effect on one of the functions of the trademark, such as indicating the origin,...

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The Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office decides about disclaimers in a patent claim

The Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office has been asked whether the introduction of a disclaimer into a patent claim can constitute an undue broadening of that claim. Now, the Enlarged Board of Appeal has rendered some guidelines: The introduction of the disclaimer constitutes an undue broadening if the subject matter – after...

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Litigation value in patent matters

In an important patent case the plaintiff has announced to the Court that the litigation value is € 5 million which was not disputed by the defendant. Court fees have been paid on that basis. The District Court of Düsseldorf has – on its own motion – increased the litigation value to € 30 million and claimed additional court fees calculated on the...

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The European Court of Justice establishes principles regarding the liability of internet platforms for trademark infringements

The European Court of Justice concludes that platforms can be liable for trademark infringements if they were aware or should have been aware of trademark infringements of their customers and did not immediately stop that infringement. Moreover, it must be possible to identify a commercial trademark infringer. European law requires that the member...

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The European Court of Justice decides about conflicting protected names and trademarks

A natural person whose name is protected under the national law of a European Union member state is, according to the European Court of Justice, entitled to prevent the registration of that name as the trademark by a third party. This also applies in case that the name of the natural person is known by the public and has already been protected by...

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The European Court of Justice will decide about the foreign jurisdiction regarding a negative declaratory action

The German Federal Supreme Court has presented the question to the European Court of Justice whether according to European Law the foreign jurisdiction in case of a tortious act is also given for a negative declaratory action. The German Federal Supreme Court is of the opinion that this is the case. There are, however, contradicting decisions from...

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The Higher Regional Court Frankfurt decides about damage calculation on the basis of infringer’s profit

The Higher Regional Court Frankfurt concluded that after patent infringement the complete infringers profit can only be claimed in exceptional cases. The complete infringers profit can only be attributed to the patent infringement if the subject matter of the protected invention is a completely new item. In the usual case the subject matter of the...

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The Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf decides on the indication of origin “Made in Germany”

The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf concluded that manufactured goods may only be advertised as “Made in Germany” if all essential manufacturing steps took place in Germany. The decisive factor is whether, in the view of the addressed consumers, the essential value-providing features of the product were generated in Germany. If this is not the...

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The European Commission provides the draft for a regulation concerning the “enhanced cooperation” for creating a uniform patent protection

According to the draft, the twelve member states which intend to participate in this “enhanced cooperation” (Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdome) can file a request with the European Patent Office for a “uniform effect” of European Patents. Patents...

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The German Federal Supreme Court forbids independent garages from using the figurative trademark “VW”

In a decision of April 14th 2011, the Federal Supreme Court came to the conclusion that the use of the figurative mark “VW” by an independent garage is infringing that trademark. The use of that figurative mark was not necessary to announce the subject matter of the services provided by that garage. Rather, the use of the word mark only or the...

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dies hat zur Folge, dass totipotente Zellen von der Patentierung ausgenommen sind. In Abgrenzung dazu sind pluripotente Stammzellen nicht grundsätzlich vom Patentschutz ausgenommen und dann patentfähig, wenn sie auf eine Weise gewonnen werden können, d

European Court of Justice renders negative opinion on planned European Patent Court systemIn its opinion of March 8, 2011, the European Court of Justice concluded that the planned system for a European Patent Court is not in conformity with European law. This Court could – through its decisions – violate standing European law, and this would not...

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*The European Commission provides a report on the Enforcement Directive 2004/48/EC *

In its report on the Enforcement Directive, the European Commission came to the conclusion that intellectual property infringements committed via the internet must be more effectively prevented. This concerns above all the information claims against providers and damage claims on the basis of infringer’s profits.

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on monitoring obligations for internet sales platforms

A company running an internet sales platform is not obligated to monitor offers mentioning third party trademarks by means of a manual visual check whether or not the offered products deviate from original products. The company is furthermore not liable under Unfair Competition Law if the offers refer to third party trademarks with formulations...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on the question of whether the display of topographic information involves a technical teaching

The display of topographic information by means of a technical device is not excluded from patentability if at least one aspect of the teaching protected by the patent claim solves a technical problem. During examination of the inventive step, only those features which solve or at least have an influence on the solution of a technical problem with...

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The Enlarged Board of Appeal rules about essentially biological processes for the production of plants

The European Patent Convention excludes essentially biological processes for the production of plants (or animals) from patentability. The Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office concluded that a process for the production of plants involving sexually crossing whole plant genomes and the subsequent selection of plants falls under...

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Exemption under Rule 141(2) EPC from filing a copy of the search results

As of January 1, 2011 and concerning applications which are filed on or after that date, it will no longer be necessary to file a copy of the search results referred to in Rule 141(1) EPC provided that the priority of the first filing made in one of the following states is claimed: Japan, United Kingdom and United States of America.

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The European Court of Justice will have to decide about the valid use of a Community Trademark

The Court of Appeal of The Hague has referred several questions to the European Court of Justice concerning the issue whether the valid use of a trademark within one member state only is sufficient to maintain the rights to a Community trademark.

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“Small solution” for the EU-patent?

Several EU member states, including Germany, have planned to closely cooperate in a way which is opened by the Lisbon Treaty: The plan is to introduce a EU patent which is only valid in specific EU member states excluding Spain, Italy and Poland. However, this plan is independent from the European Patent Court system which is still under evaluation...

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The Enlarged Board of Appeals of the European Patent Office will decide about disclaimer

A Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office has referred a question of law to the Enlarged Board of Appeal: Does a disclaimer infringe Art. 123(2) EPC if its subject matter was disclosed only as an embodiment of the invention in the application as filed? Regarding this question, different Board of Appeal decisions are in existence.

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When is a process for the production of plants “essentially biological”? Decisions of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (G1/08 and G2/07)

Dr. Benjamin Quest und Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer

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The EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal decides on dosage regimens (G2/08) and treatment by surgery (G1/07)

Dr. Benjamin Quest und Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer

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Will the European Patent Court ever become reality? 

Dr. Bernd Allekotte und Dr. Ulrich Blumenröder

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides about limitations of a patent claim which are not originally disclosed

The German Federal Supreme Court has confirmed its case law by deciding that a limitation of a patent claim which is not disclosed in the original application can remain in the patent claim. A precondition, however, is that the respective feature only puts a technical teaching in a more concrete form, whereby this technical teaching has to be...

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Earnings from a Television Company’s Commercials can be Infringer’s Profits

The German Federal Supreme Court came to the conclusion that a television company which infringes a third party’s rights by an unallowed broadcasting of film sequences has to pay a part of the earnings for the commercials run during the news program as infringer’s profits.

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The plan for a uniform European Patent Court System suffers a Setback

The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice, Juliane Kokott, concluded in an opinion submitted to the Court that the envisaged agreement to create a unified patent litigation system is, in its present form, incompatible with European treaties. If the Court follows this opinion, the draft agreement as it now stands cannot be implemented.

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European Court of Justice rules on Three-Dimensional Trademark

The European Court of Justice denied trademark protection for a three-dimensional mark showing upper and lower surfaces of a LEGO toy cuboid. The Court’s main argument is that the trademark shows only the form of the product, which form is mandatory to obtain a technical result. The Court concluded that according to European trademark law, it is...

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Switzerland plans to establish a new Federal Patent Court

In Switzerland, a new Federal Patent Court is planned which is to have exclusive jurisdiction over both, validity and infringement of patents which are valid in Switzerland. Both aspects can be dealt with in one and the same procedure. The language of the proceedings will be German, French, Italian or even, if the parties agree, English. Judgments...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on Trademark Infringement in Internet Search Engines

A company that uses a term (“power ball”) which can be confused with the trademark of a third party (“POWER BALL”) in a product description on its website in a specific line which it knows will be searched by internet search engines is held to be infringing the trademark if the search engine shows the terms together as hits. It suffices to be...

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The EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal decides on Dosage Regimens (G2/08) and Treatment by Surgery (G1/07)

The two recent decisions of the Enlarged Board of Appeal G2/08 and G1/07 differ largely in terms of their clarity and extent of legal certainty conveyed. While the decision on dosage regimens G2/08 is very clear, well reasoned and consistent, despite its exhaustive length the decision G1/07 on treatments by surgery does not give the practitioner...

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European Commission proposes Translation Arrangements for the Future EU Patent

According to a proposal of the EU Commission, the application of a future EU patent at the EPO could be filed in any language before being translated into one of the three official languages of the EPO (English, French or German). The applicant would be required to provide a translation of the claims into the remaining two official EPO languages....

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EU Court of Justice limits absolute product protection for genes

In its decision C428/08 Monsanto Technology LLC vs. Cefetra BV and others, the EU Court of Justice (EuGH) decided on the scope of protection of a patent, EP 456090 B2, protecting i.a. a DNA sequence for an enzyme involved in developing herbicide resistance in plants. The patentee tried to stop importation of soy meal in which the gene was...

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Valid use of a Community Trademark through use of a domain?

In a decision dated June 14, 2010, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf came to the conclusion that domain names which lead to an active homepage used in commerce have not only an address function, but also the trademark function to designate goods and services. The use of such a domain name therefore generally constitutes valid legal use. This...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on Protection for Software Patents

In it decision dated April 22, 2010, the German Federal Supreme Court came to the conclusion that a system and method is not excluded from patent protection as a program for a computer when a concrete technical problem is being solved by technical means. In this respect it is sufficient when the operation of a data processing program in order to...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on Omissions in German Translations of European Patents

In a decision dated March 18, 2010 the German Federal Supreme Court came to the conclusion that a patent holder enjoys patent protection in the Federal Republic of Germany even if there are omissions in the timely filed German translation of the respective European Patent. In such cases a corrected translation can be submitted at a later date, as...

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Opinion from the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office on the Patentability of Computer Programs (G 3/08)

In October 2008, the President of the EPO had referred a number of questions related to the patentability of computer-implemented inventions to the Enlarged Board of Appeal. Now, the Enlarged Board of Appeal has issued its Opinion in relation to this referral. The Enlarged Board concluded that there is no divergence in the case law which would make...

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German Federal Supreme Court confirms the validity of Microsoft patent EP 618 540 relating to FAT/VFAT

In its decision dated April 20, 2010 the German Federal Supreme Court (BGH) confirmed the validity of the German part of European patent EP 618 540. The patent had been revoked in its entirety by the Federal Patent Court in October 2006. In view of the importance of the patent in the field of file management, the BGH issued a special press release...

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Regional Court of Hamburg limits the liability of access providers

In the opinion of the Regional Court of Hamburg, cease and desist claims cannot be brought against an access provider if external internet sites provide links to further websites where copyright-infringing music is available to download. The criteria for “disturbance liability” (Störerhaftung) are not met, and the access provider cannot be held...

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German Federal Supreme Court decides on the disclosure of a feature in a figure

A feature derived from the description of a patent must clearly belong to the teaching of the invention. In the same way, drawings are a part of the disclosure and are to be considered to have the same value as the claims and the description in the application. A solution depicted in the drawings is sufficient to constitute a possible embodiment of...

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The Higher Regional Court of Cologne decides on data protection on social networking sites

In the opinion of the Higher Regional Court of Cologne, by uploading a photo onto a social networking site like Facebook, consent is also given for access to the photo through other media via search engines. This applies unless the user explicitly protects his data from access by third parties.

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New Fees of the Harmonization Office

The OHIM intends to reduce the costs for the registration of community trademarks. The registration fee will be abolished whereas the application fee will be slightly raised. This measures will result in an average cost reduction of about € 700 per application. The new schedule most likely will become effective the first week of May 2009. The...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on the enabling disclosure requirement regarding an invention containing a feature defined by a range without an upper or lower limit

The German Federal Supreme Court came to the conclusion that an invention is not enablingly disclosed when the patent claims contain generalized formulas which universalize the patent-protected area beyond the area available to the person skilled in the art through the teaching of the patent. This applies at least in a case where a feature defined...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on Online Sales

In a recent decision, the German Federal Supreme Court found the sales model of a US producer of online games permissible. When a traditional book or DVD is purchased in a store, it can be re-sold at will. E-Books, computer programs, and online music, in contrast, are often bound to one account of an individual user and cannot be transferred to...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on the likelihood of confusion between the marks AIDA and AIDU

The German Federal Supreme Court held that a likelihood of confusion between the trademarks AIDA and AIDU may not be given. Despite the oral and visual similarity of the two marks, the disputed mark AIDA has a meaning in the eyes of the public which the mark AIDU lacks: the title of the opera from Giuseppe Verdi. The case was remitted to the Higher...

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Article 4 No. 6 German Unfair Competition Act contradicts European Law

In a decision dated January 14, 2010, the European Court of Justice concluded that the German general prohibition against combination of a prize lottery with the purchase of a sales product (Art. 4 Nr. 6 Unfair Competition Act) is too restrictive, and therefore contradicts European Law. In the Court’s opinion, it must remain possible to assess this...

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Car Manufacturer Loses Dispute about Trademark Infringement by Toy Car

On January 14, 2010 the German Federal Supreme Court decided that a vehicle manufacturer cannot prevent the marketing of toy cars carrying the manufacturer’s trademark logo on the basis of his trademark rights. In the court’s opinion, the consumer will not see the trademark logo on the toy car as an indication of the car’s origin.

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The German Federal Supreme Court restricts Spam Mails

The German Federal Supreme Court has decided that, in light of unfair competition concerns, email advertisements are only allowable with the explicit or implied consent of the recipient. Even in the case of advertisements directed to business owners, presumed consent is not sufficient. Entering an email address on a homepage also does not imply...

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The Counsel of Ministers of the European Communities intend to bring patent reforms forward

The Counsel of Ministers accepted on December 4, 2009 a regulation regarding the community patent which now will be discussed in the European Parliament. According to this regulation the grant of the patent for an invention shall have immediately effect for the whole European Community. Furthermore, the Counsel of Ministers proposed the...

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European Patent Office and Japanese Patent Office to pilot "Patent Prosecution Highway"

On January 29, 2010, a test phase of a bilateral Patent Prosecution Highway will begin at the European and Japanese Patent Offices. If a patent application to either office contains at least one allowable claim, the applicant will have the option of requesting that the second office perform a fast track examination of the corresponding claims in...

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Enforcing Patents in Germany

Dr. Bernd Allekotte und Dr. Ulrich Blumenröder

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Die große Beschwerdekammer des EPA entscheidet über chirurgische Verfahren G 1/07, Treatment by surgery / MEDI-PHYSICS

Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer

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When Patents Become Standard: Litigation for ‘Essential’ Patents

Dr. Bernd Allekotte und Dr. Ulrich Blumenröder

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Enhanced Patent System in Europe 

Dr. Karsten Brandt

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The German Federal Supreme Court refers Biotech Questions to European Court of Justice

The German Federal Supreme Court (BGH) intends to refer several questions relating to Art. 6 of the Biotech Patent Directive to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). At issue is the interpretation of the terms "human embryos" and "commercial purposes". In the opinion of the German Federal Supreme Court, Art. 6 of the Directive is ambiguous in...

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No trademark protection for exclamation marks

The European Court of First Instance came to the conclusion that an exclamation mark cannot be registered as a Community Trademark. According to the court, an exclamation mark – even if it is displayed in a rectangular frame – lacks the necessary distinctive character. Furthermore, the court did not accept the evidence as being sufficient that the...

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Thailand becomes PCT Member State

On September 24, 2009, Thailand acceded to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). Three months after this date, namely on December 24, 2009, the PCT will come into force with regard to Thailand.

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on the Relevance of False Indications of Trademark Protection

The German Federal Supreme Court came to the conclusion that the user of a mark together with the indication "®", without actually being owner of that mark or a licensee regarding that mark, is misleading in the course of business in a manner which is regularly relevant under unfair competition aspects. The term "misleading" already implies a...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides on Questions regarding Sublicenses in Copyright Law

In a decision, the German Federal Supreme Court came to the conclusion that in copyright law a simple license which is based and dependent on an exclusive license does not automatically terminate if the exclusive license is revoked due to non-use in accordance with Art. 41 Copyright Act.

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The German Patent Modernization Act comes into force on October 1, 2009

The Patent Modernization Act has been published in the Federal Gazette on August 4, 2009 and will come into force on October 1, 2009. An amendment which is relevant in practice is that employees’ inventions which are announced to the employer after September 30, 2009 are automatically transferred to the employer. This, however, is not applicable if...

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The German Federal Supreme Court Decided on Damage Claims against Several Infringers in a Distribution Chain

In a decision, the German Federal Supreme Court concluded that, as a consequence of an intellectual property infringement, the transfer of the infringer’s profit can be claimed against each infringer within a distribution chain. However, if one infringer within the distribution chain compensates the next infringer because of his/her delivery of...

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The European Court of Justice Decided about the Ownership in a Community Design Patent

Article 14 par.1 of the Community Design Patent Regulation provides that the right to a community design shall vest in the designer or his successor in title, whereas article 14 par.3 gives this right to the employer if a design is developed by an employee in the execution of his duties or following the instruction given by the employer. In a...

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The Higher Regional Court Munich Strengthened the Rights of Trademark Owners against Ebay

As the first Higher Regional Court in Germany, the Court in Munich decided that a trademark owner is entitled to interdict a distributer to sell trademark protected goods via Ebay. According to the Court, the restriction of competition resulting from this is justified on the basis of the European Community block exemption for vertical distribution...

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The European Court of Justice Decided about the Preconditions Constituting Bad Faith in a Community Trademark Application

In a recent decision, the European Court of Justices has in a case concerning the application of a three-dimensional European trademark for a chocolate bunny summarized the preconditions of "bad faith". It has to be taken into account: (1) The fact that the applicant knows or must know that a third party is using, in at least one member state, an...

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The European Court of Justice Decided about Infringement of Well-Known Trademarks by Using Similar Trademarks in a Comparison List

In a recent judgment the European Court of Justice held that the use of a sign similar to a mark with a reputation in a comparison list must be considered as an advantage that has been unfairly taken of the distinctive character or the repute of that mark. According to the European Court of Justice the attempt of a third party is unfair, to ride on...

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The German Parliament Decided on June 19, 2009 an Amelioration of International Design Patent Protection

According to the new law which will shortly come into force, an international application for a design patent can be filed either directly at the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) or with the German Patent and Trademark Office at the free choice of the applicant. Previously, only a direct application at the...

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Patent Modernization Act Passes the German Parliament

The most important amendment concerns the Employees Inventor’s Act and is that in the future, the employer’s claim for a service invention no longer needs to be declared to the employee. Rather, the amendment provides that the employer automatically claims the invention unless he/she does not waive his/her claim to the benefit of the employee...

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The European Court of Justice decides on exhaustion of trademark rights in a selective distribution system

In a judgment the ECJ decided that trademark rights can be enforced against a licensee which violates a contractual obligation not to sell goods to a discounter. A precondition, however, is that this violation damages the prestige which gives these goods their air of luxury. In that case, there is no exhaustion of trademark rights.

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San Marino will be the 36th EPC-Member State

With the acceptance procedure completed, the EPC will come into force in San Marino on July 1, 2009. The European Patent Organization has 36 contracting states and nine extension states.

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides about the “compulsory license defense” in a patent infringement suit

According to a decision of the German Federal Supreme Court a patent infringer which is producing in correspondence with a patented industrial standard, can, under fairly narrow conditions rely on a “compulsory license defense” on the basis of anti-trust law. A precondition of this defense is that the patent infringer has asked for a license under...

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The German Federal Supreme Court decides about a use right on the basis of an older patent

In a recent judgment the German Federal Supreme Court has decided that a younger patent right can be limited in relation to the owner of an older patent right by the patent claim of the older right. The owner of the older patent may have the right to use. Also, a licensee of the older patent may rely on this use right. The use right, however, only...

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The Administrative Council of the European Patent Office Decides about Important Amendments of the Implementing Regulations to the European Patent Convention

As of April 1, 2010, new implementing regulations are applicable. Specifically, divisional applications will undergo far-reaching changes. For a divisional application, the applicant has to take into due account a time limit of 24 months after the first communication in respect to the earliest application. The applicant may file a divisional...

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Federal Supreme Court of Germany Changes its Course in its "Olanzapin" Decision to Match Established Case Law of the EPO for Novelty of Chemical Selection Inventions

In a decision, the Federal Supreme Court of Germany (FSC) establishes that the disclosure of a general chemical structural formula in the prior art does not disclose the individual compounds falling thereunder. Rather, the decisive question is whether or not the concrete compound is disclosed. For this, concrete indications are needed in the prior...

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European Patent Office changes the Designation Fees

Starting on April 1, 2009, the designation fee of a European patent application is € 500 independently of how many contracting states have been designated. This regulation concerns European patent applications filed on or after April 1, 2009 as well as international applications entering the regional phase on or after that date. For all previously...

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Montenegro will become EPO Extension State

The European Patent Organization and Montenegro signed an extension agreement. The extension agreement will come into effect later this year and have the consequence that, with a single patent application at the EPO, patent protection can also be obtained in Montenegro and therefore in a total of 39 member states.

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German Federal Patent Court decides on the "Munich White Sausage"

According to a final decision of the German Federal Patent Court, the "Munich White Sausage" does not meet the requirements of European Community law for a registration as a geographical indication. According to the judgment, the "Munich White Sausage" is a "regional, mainly southern Bavarian speciality which is, however, not limited to the region...

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The German Federal Supreme Court Decides on AdWord/Advertising at Google

On January 22, 2009, the German Federal Supreme Court has decided on three cases concerning adWord advertising at Google. Hereby, a third party trademark or company name is used as a keyword in the frame of a Google search to place an advertisement next to the hit-list. In a first case a third party trademark was used to place advertisement for...

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German Federal Supreme Court Decides on Preconditions for Protection of Non-Registered European Design Patents

The German Federal Supreme Court rendered a landmark decision on the preconditions for protection of a non-registered European design patent. Protection for this non-registered right only comes into existence if the design has been published in the territory of the European Community. A publication outside this territory is not sufficient. On the...

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Macedonia the 35th member state of the European Patent Organization

With the beginning of 2009, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has become the 35th member state of the European Patent Organization. This organization now includes all 27 EU member states plus Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. Without being member states,...

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EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal decides on patentability of embryonic cells

In a decision, the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office defines criteria when stem cell inventions are not patentable.

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Enforcing IP Rights in the EU

Dr. Bernd Allekotte

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Patentees beware German antitrust rules

Gerhard Barth

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The EPO’s Decision G 2/06 on the Patentability of Human Embryonic Stem Cells: Sounding the Bell for the Next Round?

Dr. Rainer Plaggenborg und Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer

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Cross-border: Europe - Implementation of the EU IP Rights Enforcement Directive

Dr. Bernd Allekotte und Dr. Ulrich Blumenröder

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The Olanzapine Patent Dispute: German court grants a preliminary injunction on a patent invalidated by the first instance Federal Patent Court

Gerhard Barth und Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer

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Chemical Selection Inventions in the EPO and in Germany: Continued Divergence in Legal Interpretation

Dr. Steven Zeman und Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer

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The London Agreement – Implementation in Germany

The ever-expanding extraterritorial reach of patents

Dr. Bernd Allekotte

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Community Design Applications under the Hague Agreement

Rainer Bertram

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Navigating the European litigation maze

Dr. Bernd Allekotte and Dr. Ulrich Blumenröder

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Applicant-friendliness of the EPO for second medical use claims: A mixed blessing

Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer and Dr. Steven Zeman

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Does T 0866/01 (“Euthanasia Compositions”) of an Appeal Board of the EPO provide the Answers for the Enlarged Board of Appeal Case G2/06 (“Primate Embryonic Stem Cells”)?

Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer und Dr. Georg Seisenberger

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The Enforceability of Medical Use Claims in Germany

Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer und Steven M. Zeman

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Questions and Answers relating to Divisional Applications at the EPO

Dr. Klara Goldbach und Dr. Christoph Latzel

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Patentability of Diagnostic Methods under the EPC: A new Referral to the Enlarged Board of Appeal by the President of the EPO

Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer und Dr. Ulrike Langheinrich

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Act implementing the Directive on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions in Germany (BioPatG)

Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer und Dr. Svenja Sethmann

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Markenbewertung und Markenverwertung

Wolfgang Repenn und Dr. Gabriele Weidenhiller, 2. Auflage, C.H. Beck

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What makes a Co-Worker a Co-Inventor?

Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer und Dr. Svenja Sethmann

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Patentability of Diagnostic Methods Under the Most Recent Decision of the Enlarged Board of Appeal G 1/04PDF

Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer und Qi Wang

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Patentability of Diagnostic Methods Under the Most Recent Decision of the Enlarged Board of Appeal G 1/04PDF

Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer und Qi Wang

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Community Designs - Infringement and Invalidity Decisions

Rainer Bertram

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Restoration of Disclaimer Practice at the EPO

Dr. Klara Goldbach

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New Rules on Technology Licensing

Dr. Bernd Allekotte

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The Immoral Gene: Does it really exist?

Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer and Dr. Svenja Sethmann

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Patenting of Stem Cells and Processes involving Stem Cells according to the Rules of the European Patent Conventio

Dr. Heike Vogelsang-Wenke

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Registered and Unregistered European Community Designs

Rainer Bertram

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Practical Aspects of Registered European Community Designs

Rainer Bertram

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Recent Case Law of the EPO regarding Software/Business method-related Inventions

Reinhard Knauer

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Decisive Steps Towards The Community Patent

Gerhard Barth

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Patentability of stem cells in view of the European group of Ethics

Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer and Dr. Georg Seisenberger

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Design Protection in the European Union

Recent Developments und FAQs

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Standard for Valid Priority Claim Defined by EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal

Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer

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Time frame for costs of patent ligitation in Germany

Gerhard Barth

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Method of Treatment Inventions under the EPC: What kind of Protection can you get?

Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer und Dr. Thomas Friede

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Parallel Import subject to Customs Seizure

Dr. Ulrich Blumenröder

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Are business methods patentable in Europe?

Reinhard Knauer

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New Rules of the European Patent Office for Biotechnological Inventions

Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer

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Are Expressed Sequence Tags Patentable under the European Patent Convention?

Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer

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The Protection of Technical Innovations and Designs in Germany

Dr. Wilfried Stockmair und Gottfried Klitzsch

2nd edition, C.H. Beck

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Outline of the Preliminary Injunction Procedure in Intellectual Property Matters in GermanyPDF

Dr. Hermann Kinkeldey

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Protection of Biotechnological Matter under European and German Law

Dr. Klara Goldbach, Dr. Heike Vogelsang-Wenke und Dr. Franz-Josef Zimmer

Wiley VCH

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German Regulations on Industrial Products

Dr. Ulrich Blumenröder, Wiley VCH

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German national trademark law and the Community trademark law

Martin Aufenanger und Gerhard Barth

2nd edition, Wiley VCH

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