Germany: Wärmetauscher, Federal Court of Justice of Germany, X ZR 114/13, 10 May 2016
Kluwer Patent Blog
January 25, 2017
Please refer to this post as:, ‘Germany: Wärmetauscher, Federal Court of Justice of Germany, X ZR 114/13, 10 May 2016’, Kluwer Patent Blog, January 25 2017, http://patentblog.kluweriplaw.com/2017/01/25/germany-warmetauscher-10-may-2016/
In this case the FCJ expanded on earlier case law regarding claim construction, in particular how a term used in the claim language should be interpreted in light of the specification and the entire set of claims. The Court held that the subject matter of the main claim can generally not be limited by a sub-claim, which usually only contains additional embodiments of the invention according to the main claim.
In another important aspect of the judgment, the Court held that under exceptional circumstances a transition period to dispose of infringing devices may be granted if the immediate enforcement of an injunction would cause unjustified hardship for the infringer and would have to be considered as acting in bad faith on the side of the patentee.