New IT Security Act Intensifies Duties Of Providers

On June 12, 2015, the German Parliament passed the IT Security Act (IT-Sicherheitsgesetz). The law provides, inter alia, that operators of so-called critical infrastructure must meet a minimum level of IT security, install protection tools to ensure the security and notify the German Federal Office for Information Security (Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik – …

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Different Approaches of IP Organization within Companies

Usually, companies have long-established structures of maintaining their IP. However, there are different approaches to the organization structures. Interestingly, a recent poll of the IP management service provider Helios IP shows that only little more than half of the companies appears to favor a centralized approach. The other half tends towards different variations of the …

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German Federal High Court rules on two eBay listing cases

On 12 November 2014, the German Federal High Court (“BGH”) ruled that a used-car sales contract concluded on the internet platform eBay was valid, even though the seller ended the listing early when the buyer’s initial offer of EUR 1 remained the highest bid (BGH VIII ZR 41/14). As the defendant (the seller) subsequently sold …

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German Government proposes class actions for data protection violations

By Reka Hatala and Britta Hinzpeter On 4 February 2015, the German federal government published a draft law on the improvement of enforcement of data protection provisions protecting consumers (Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Verbesserung der zivilrechtlichen Durchsetzung von verbraucherschützenden Vorschriften des Datenschutzrechts) (“Draft Law”). Provided the German parliament passes the Draft Law, consumer protection associations …

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Update on costs in the new Unified Patenting System

According to latest rumors, the new patenting system in Europe (introduction of the Unitary Patent based on EU Regulations No. 1257/2012 (UPR) and No. 1260/2012 (UPTR) will start in 2017. One key aspect for the success of the new system relates to the patenting costs compared to the current European patenting system. Until today, the …

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When the cat kills the dog… Parody and German trademark law

In a recent decision, the German Federal Court decided that the owner of trade mark consisting of a parody to the “PUMA” trade mark must consent to his trademark being deleted (decision I ZR 59/13 of 2 April 2015). The trade mark in question consisted of the picture of a poodle jumping in the same …

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Jurisdiction of Unified Patent Court extends to non EU countries

As a new significant development in the new court system to be established, the jurisdiction of the Unified Patent Court shall extend even to non EU countries. This is due to several amendments to the “long arm jurisdiction provision” which was introduced by the Brussels I Regulation and extended by EU Regulation No. 1215/2012. These …

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Contractual claim for cease and desist also comprises the deletion of content from Google’s hit list

In its decision dated 29 January 2015 (13 U 58/14 ) the Higher Regional Court Celle held that a party that signs a cease and desist declaration with regard to certain content of its website, must also ensure through appropriate measures that the content covered by the cease and desist declaration cannot be accessed on …

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Fundamental reforms ahead for European Patent Law

The Member States of the European Union are in the process of preparing the introduction of a new European Patent with Unitary Effect and the creation of a single Unified Patent Court with divisions located all over Europe. With the realization of this patent reform package, the significance and the scope of patent litigation in …

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European Commission publishes decisions following investigations into abuse of standard-essential patents

On April 29, 2014, the European Commission published two decisions as a result of its investigations into the (alleged) abuse of standard-essential patents (SEPs) in patent litigation, in particular by seeking injunctions against competitors on the basis of SEPs. The first decision renders binding commitments offered by Samsung Electronics, not to seek injunctions in Europe …

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