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 Düsseldorf. The editorial team of the daily newspaper “Die Welt” has a chat about the issue with Dr. Bernd Allekotte, attorney-at-law at Grünecker. “To date, potential patent infringers needed to make an offer to the holder of the patent right of their own accord”, says Mr. Allekotte. “However, such a requirement was not too practical: More than 4,700 patents are utilized when working according to the LTE standard alone. To keep an eye on all the potential holders of rights at once is something that can hardly be done by a manufacturer. This is why the Advocate General is now putting the onus on patent holders to take the necessary action.”