Thursday, 28 May 2009

Germany moves to reduce patent appeal backloh

Via Axel Horns' excellent IP:JUR weblog comes news that a German bill to amend that country's patent law has today gained parliamentary approval and must now secure the presidential signature in order to come into force. The new law has some implications for patent litigation in this popular forum. In particular: 
"To reduce the current huge backlog of pending nullification appeal cases (Nichtigkeitsberufungen), the German Federal Supreme Court is set to be changed from an instance fully revising factual and legal points to an instance competent substantially only for legal points. ... in future there will be only a single instance where facts and evidence can be presented, the Federal Patents Court (Bundespatentgericht). The court system will simply be cut back by eliminating the option of presenting fresh facts and evidence during appeal in patent nullification cases;

Improvements concerning the legal basis for implementation of electronic workflows in throughout the German Patent and Trade Mark Office, the Federal Patents Court as well as the Federal Supreme Court;

Cancellation of a current provision ... according to which any person who has brought an infringement action may bring a further action against the defendant on account of the same or a similar act on the basis of another patent only if, through no fault of his own, he was not in a position to assert that patent also in the earlier suit.

Broadening of the Opposition procedure in German Trade Mark Law; also non-registered elder rights shall be eligible as a basis for a Notice of Opposition ...".

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