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 a genomic rearrangement which served as an indicator of an increased cancer risk. The detection method was performed abroad and the obtained data (clinical result) was imported into Germany. In deviation from Case X ZR 33/10 “MPEG-2-encoded Videosignals”, the Supreme Court did not regard the clinical result imported into Germany as a product which could enjoy protection under § 9, Sentence 2, No. 3 PatG as the immediate product of a process of preparation. In the BGH’s view, the clinical results obtained abroad did not possess “special technical characteristics” conferred to them by the process. While the BGH found that the transfer of the clinical results was possible only by using the process abroad, the transfer as such would not be a use of the technical teaching of the invention. The inventors of diagnostic detection processes thus cannot enjoy protection under § 9 Sentence 2, No. 3 PatG protecting the immediate product of the process.