The Development of Germany as a Patent Litigation Venue in the Last Decade: Advantage Patentee?

Johannes Heselberger, attorney, European Patent Attorney, Bardehle Pagenberg Dost Altenburg Geissler

Like few other areas of the law, patent law finds itself regularly in the middle of political discussions. May "trolls" assert patents against producing entities? Is it right to protect software or even business methods? How much "reward" should an inventor obtain from the public, and his competitors? The question arises whether the case law of the German patent infringement courts reflects in its changes over the last decade any trend for or against the patentee. The answer to this question could allow a forecast for future decisions of the courts as to their tendency.

In order to provide an answer we will discuss the major changes in case law and the remaining open issues with regard to missing facts and proof, use activities outside the protected territory, indirect infringement, damage calculation and patents on standards. Is there an advantage for the patentee?