Statement by the Working Group on Industrial Property Rights and Technical Contracts on European Patent Jurisdiction
Eleven members of BIO Deutschland’s Working Group on Industrial Property Rights and Technical Contracts took part in a telephone conference at the end of February to discuss the subject of European patent jurisdiction for nullity and infringement actions.
The working group advocates a three-tiered procedure for nullity suits and infringement actions in the area of European patents and the national patents that stem from them. The court of first instance (trial court) should be located where the respondent company is based and the language used in the proceedings should be the local language. The second instance should be a central European court based in one of the EU member states. The courts of first and second instance should be made up of judges who are qualified in both technology and law. The third instance (court of final appeal) should be the European Court of Justice. In this case, the hitherto division of the case into two parts (nullity suit and infringement action) can be lifted.
Reasons given for maintaining national jurisdiction in Germany included the short duration of court proceedings, the relatively low costs and the competence of the local courts.