A recent decision of the Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht) Düsseldorf now confirms that a holding company cannot easily dive away under the patent infringing activities of its subsidiaries. Background Many companies are designed in the form of a group, having a holding company at the top and a number of subsidiaries which are directly or…

The Mannheim Regional Court decided on March 8, 2013 (court docket: 7 O 139/12) that a supplier which is located abroad is regularly only liable for participating in patent-infringing acts in Germany if the foreign supplier learns, e.g. by means of a warning letter, that its supply of products to the German market may result in a patent infringement under German law and if the supplier does not refrain from further shipments into Germany.

In my earlier posts (here and here) I reported and commented on the first two phases of the Italian Pfizer antitrust case, in which the Italian Antitrust Authority (IAA) accused Pfizer of having abused of a dominant position by judicially enforcing patent rights against generic latanoprost in the Italian Courts. A small but potentially meaningful…

If the patentee has granted an exclusive license after filing an infringement action, an exclusive licensee is (in part) a legal successor of the patentee. Therefore, as long as the patentee’s claims are pending at another German court, the exclusive licensee has no right to sue with regard to the same subject matter due to…

(1) The FCJ decided that if a plaintiff can prove there was an “offering” of means for the patented purposes, it can be assumed that the means were also delivered for those purposes, and that therefore the plaintiff has a right to claim damages and the provision of information due to indirect infringement. The means of proof will be sufficient even if, in cases of indirect infringement, it was only with the delivery for the patented purposes that the damages were incurred.

(2) Furthermore, when a patent is assigned during pending patent infringement proceedings, the right of the assignee to claim damages shall arise starting on the date of the assignment agreement, and not on the date of registration (contrary to the case law of the Higher Regional Court Dusseldorf). With regard to claims to damages for the time period after assignment, the plaintiff (assignor) will need to assert that payment must be made to the assignee.

Jurisdiction at the place where the harmful event occurred or may occur pursuant to Article 5 (3) of Regulation EC/44/2001 can be established in a negative declaratory action even though this action seeks to declare the absence of liability in tort, as long as the relevant linking conditions are fulfilled. Click here for the full text…

The Stockholm District Court held the Swedish part of a European patent concerning a method of growing two or more plants invalid, due to lack of inventive step. Despite requests for limitations by the proprietor the patent was declared invalid in its entirety. Infringement, exceptions to patentability and prior use rights were also considered by…

The FCJ decided in the recently published decision “Wundverband” [Wound Dressing] “Moelnlycke Health Care v. BSN Medical” (docket X ZR 70/12) on 19 February 2013 that if patentee has granted an exclusive license after he has filed an infringement action, an exclusive licensee will be (in part) a legal successor of the patentee. As a…