by Miriam Büttner
This is a follow-up to the article of my colleague, Eike Schaper, of 17 August 2010 in which he refers to a ruling of the Düsseldorf Court of Appeal concerning the value in patent infringement litigation (“You shall not lie!” – Cost Risk in Patent Proceedings). Court fees are fixed on the basis of this value. Meanwhile, it can be observed that other German courts follow the Düsseldorf approach.
In a new and quite particular case, the Düsseldorf courts continued and intensified their jurisdiction: The claimant indicated that the value of his own interests in the disputed matter was about 5 million Euros. This evaluation was not objected by the defendant. Already the first instance disbelieved the indicated figures in the light of claimant’s own assertions and requested additional observations from both parties which they refused to provide. Because of this refusal, the court suspected both parties of a fraudulent behaviour at the expense of the treasury. Thus, the court held that it was justified to evaluate the value in litigation at an economically tenable maximum (30 million Euros). This ruling was upheld by the Düsseldorf Court of Appeal (court order of 10 May 2011 – ref. I-2 W 15/11; GRUR-RR 2011, 341 f. – Streitwertheraufsetzung II).