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 doctrine of equivalence. The doctrine of equivalence has to start from the technical meaning of the claim. This technical meaning, however, does not encompass the disclosed, but not claimed solution. As a consequence, disclosing but not claiming certain solutions does also limit the scope of protection under the doctrine of equivalence.