Legal representation before German Patent Courts
In Germany, patent cases and cases about utility models are decided in the first instance by two different courts: Either by the Federal Patent Court in Munich or by a civil chamber at a locally competent civil district court. This dichotomy has a long tradition in German patent law. The tradition is based on the notion that decisions of the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) shall be reviewed on appeal by a specially created patent court, namely, the Federal Patent Court in Munich.
Legal representation before the Federal Patent Court in Munich
The Federal Patent Court in Munich decides about certain patent appeals in German patent cases when an infringed party wants to check whether a certain decision of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) was legally and factually correct. Attorney at Law Dr. Christian Seyfert, LL.M. (USA) has fought for his corporate clients for years in patent proceedings before the Federal Patent Court in Munich. The Federal Patent Court has jurisdiction in patent cases in particular in the following situations:
- Proceedings for the declaration of invalidity of a patent or a supplementary protection certificate
- Appeals against decisions of examination offices and patent departments of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA)
- Appeals against decisions of the utility model agencies of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA)
- The DPMA refuses to register a German patent or utility model
- Granting of compulsory patent licenses (compulsory patent licensing)
Legal representation before the civil chambers of German civil courts
Attorney Dr. Christian Seyfert, LL.M. (USA) regularly represents his corporate clients also before the civil chambers of German civil courts which are responsible for disputes on patents and utility models in certain cases. In particular in the following situations, the German civil courts are responsible to decide about disputes on patents and utility models:
- Injunctive relief against the continued unauthorized use of your patents and utility models
- Requests for information from the infringer of your patents and utility models on the nature and extent of the unauthorized use of your patents and utility models (right to information)
- Claims for damages, in particular profits made by the infringer of your patents and utility models and compensation according to the license analogy principle (damages for infringement of your patents and utility models)
- Claims against the infringer of your patents and utility models to destruct or recall illegally manufactured or distributed products which are the subject of the patent or utility model of your company (destruction and recall rights concerning products which are the subject of the patent or utility model)
- Claim against the infringer of your patents and utility models to submit certain bank, financial or commercial documents (submission of certain documents)
- Claim against the infringer of your patents and utility models to tolerate the inspection of an object which is at the infringer’s disposal if this is required to establish your rights as an owner of a patent or a utility model (right of inspection)
- Claim to give notice of the court verdict in the patent case / utility model case to the public at the expense of the infringer of your patents and utility models (publication of verdict)
Legal representation before German patent courts of higher instances (German courts of last resort)
If it becomes necessary, our attorneys will expertly represent your company in patent cases and utility model cases before German courts of higher instances (German courts of last resort):
- Appellate proceedings before the Federal Supreme Court in Germany in patent cases / utility model cases against decisions of the Federal Patent Court
- Appellate proceedings before all Higher Regional Courts in Germany against decisions on patent cases / utility model cases of the civil chambers of German district courts
If – until now – your company has been unsuccessfully represented in a dispute on patents or utility models by another law firm, it may be a good idea to change course and have the patent case or utility model case handled by a different law firm. Our attorneys make the offer to your company to analyze your patent case / utility model case in detail and give your company a detailed expert opinion on whether an appeal against the patent decision / utility model decision of the first instance has reasonably good chances of success before an Appellate Court in Germany. Our attorneys are familiar with appellate proceedings in patent cases / utility model cases before German courts of higher instances. Our attorneys are easy to talk to. Please just for a discussion about your case on patents / utility models.
Legal representation in Summary Proceedings (Speedy Trials)
If somebody has infringed upon your patent rights, urgent legal action is regularly needed to stop further patent violations at the expense of your company. ZELLER & SEYFERT’s attorneys will quickly enforce the patent rights of your company. Our attorneys will in particular seek an immediate injunction in a speedy trial (summary proceeding) before the competent German patent court in order to stop ongoing patent violations. Please just to discuss details about your patent case with our attorneys.
Legal representation before the German and European Patent Offices
Our attorneys will also represent your company in patent disputes before the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) and the European Patent Office (EPO), essentially in the following patent proceedings:
- Patent or utility model opposition proceedings before the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA)
- Patent opposition proceedings before the European Patent Office (EPO)
- Appellate patent proceedings before the Boards of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO)
Our attorneys will also represent your company in patent litigation proceedings before the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva (Switzerland).
Warning Letters – Legal representation out of court
The owners of patents and utility models generally have the burden – according to German civil law – to first send a warning letter out of court to the party which violates the patent or utility model. This warning letter shall achieve three things: First, it shall inform the party which violates the patent or utility model about its patent or utility model violations; second, it shall seek a settlement between the parties; and, third, it shall seek an end to the patent and utility model violations for the future. Rushing with a patent case / utility model case to a German patent court without prior demanding from the party which violates the patent or utility model to cease and desist from its patent or utility model infringements may otherwise result in your company having to pay the fees and costs of the entire lawsuit (court fees and attorney fees of both parties), even if your company later wins the lawsuit about the patent or utility model.
Border Seizures Procedures in Germany (Customs)
Particularly successful patent protected products are often cheaply and illegally pirated and counterfeited by product pirates. ZELLER & SEYFERT will help your company to intercept the counterfeited products at the German border with the support and assistance of the German customs authorities. Our attorneys will then also have the products which violate the patents of your company destroyed right at the German border. For more information please visit Border Seizure Procedures by the German Customs Authorities.