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 the utility model. “Something entirely different” is not in place if only a technical teaching, which is contained in the originally filed application and described as belonging to the invention, has been concretized. In contrast to that, “something entirely different” is in place if a technical aspect is claimed, which is not contained in the original application, neither in its concretized form nor even in an abstract form.