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Publications: Patent invalidation and legal certainty – What can patent holders expect?
Abstract: Germany is one of Europe’s most important patent centres: as regards patent grants and also as regards patent infringements. This may be why the German patent scene in the last two years has been looking at the success rates of nullity suits filed with the German Federal Patent Court (BPatG) – under two different aspects: In 2014, a first legal article concentrated on the problem of lack of legal certainty for patent holders and on investment risks posed by the seemingly boundless possibilities for challenging patents in nullity proceedings. The article called for these risks to be addressed more carefully, not to the least in view of Art 14 German Grundgesetz (GG), which safeguards the right to property. Another article from the same year, motivated more along the lines of innovation theory, took said success rates as a reason to fundamentally criticise patents under the provocative title “Why most patents are invalid”. This article scrutinised both, individual points within the criticism, as well as allegedly far-reaching conclusions regarding patents at large. According to industry reports, these conclusions have been affecting patent value, and they also may pose a threat to the system as such – unjustly so, as this article will show!
Publications: Low-Quality Patents in the Eye of the Beholder: Evidence from Multiple Examiners
In this paper, the authors propose a new way of measuring patent quality, based on twin patent applications granted at one office but refused at another office, applied to the five largest patent offices. This method allows to distinguish low-quality patents issued because an office has a low standard from patents issued in violation of an office’s own standard, however high or low (so-called ‘weak patents’ in the scholarly literature). The results suggest that quality in patent systems is higher than previously thought; in particular the percentage of ‘weak’ patents is in single digits for all offices, although the U.S. patent office’s performance is poorer than those of Europe and Japan.
Publications: High quality of Patents in Europe - infographic
4iP Council has consolidated available data on patents in Germany in 2015 to provide a fresh picture on invalidity rates. This work takes the shape of an infographic and follows the recent publication of numerous papers by eminent authors radically overturning an assumption that patent invalidity rates in Europe are high. In 2015, just 1 in 17,500 (0.006%) of all patents in force in Germany were declared invalid by a court. Research findings show similar results for patents in other jurisdictions.
Research: Lessons from Huawei v. ZTE
by Rt Hon Professor Sir Robin Jacob, Alexander Milner – October 2016
This paper first summarises the Huawei judgment and what Huawei decides in practice relating to the availability of injunctive relief for SEPs. The principal national case law since the Huawei decision is then reviewed. Finally, some matters left unresolved by Huawei are examined and the authors consider whether further action by the Commission is necessary, including in the context of the pending review of the IPR Enforcement Directive (“IPRED”). The authors consider whether it would be desirable for the European Commission to issue some form of official guidance, notably on the steps that patentees and implementers must take, respectively, to obtain or avoid an injunction in the context of a FRAND dispute.
Publications: How to protect local R&D in Brazil, Russia, India, China?
This article covers recent, detailed research by The University of St. Gallen on the motivation for and nature of western R&D investments in emerging markets.