The FCJ confirmed that, when formulating the problem as a starting point for assessing inventive step, it is not permissible to narrow the problem by referring to prior art not cited in the patent. The patent relates to a sound generator, in particular for parking assistance systems for vehicles. The sound generator is equipped with…

A catalog published at a trade conference by one of the inventors of U.S. Patent 8,714,977 (the “’977 patent) was publicly accessible to the dental industry in March 2003, and therefore was prior art, with properly corroborated evidence, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in a precedential opinion. The Federal…

This case concerns the question of whether, and under what conditions, a supplier of infringing products who is located abroad can be held liable for infringement of the German patent for acts committed abroad. The FCJ held that the supplier may be liable if he was aware or should have been aware of the fact…

One of the points sometimes debated in patent cases is the date when a claim for patent infringement becomes “time-barred” (i.e. the date on which it “prescribes”). The traditional position adopted by the courts in countries like Germany and Spain is that in the case of continuing acts of infringement, the time-barred period (e.g. 5…

In a case concerning a patent relating to methods of transferring component tape information to a component mounting machine, the Federal Court of Justice held that when inventive step is assessed it is of the utmost importance to consider all aspects of the claimed subject-matter and in particular effects and advantages of these aspects in…

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a Texas district court’s ruling that Verizon Wireless did not infringe on Barkan Wireless’ patent despite disagreeing with the lower court’s construction of a term recited in each independent claim of the patent. Barkan Wireless had appealed the district court’s construction of the term “Access…

The Federal Court of Justice held that: The sequence of steps in a method claim is normally determined by the claim’s wording. A completely new attack based on a document only filed upon appeal is too late and not to be admitted on appeal. A full summary of this case has been published on Kluwer…

The choice of the starting point for evaluation of inventive step requires a justification which is not in itself provided by the fact that a certain citation proves ex post to be the “closest state of the art”. In particular, it cannot be assumed without further ado that an expert in a technical field in…

The federal district court in Tampa did not err in deciding on summary judgment that fishing boat manufacturer Yellowfin Yachts failed to establish that a former executive and his company were liable for trade dress infringement, unfair competition, or trade secret misappropriation, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta has held, affirming summary judgment in…