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 consequence that not a single one of the embodiments described would be covered by the claim, is only then appropriate if other possible claim interpretations, which would at least cover a part of the embodiments, are mandatorily excluded or if the patent claim contains sufficiently clear hints pointing to the fact that, indeed, something is claimed that deviates entirely from the description.