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Wall Street Journal

Germany Shuts Door on Patent Trolls

Germany on Friday removed a legislative quirk that had made it a prime destination for globally active patent litigators who increasingly target fast-growing tech companies. Under the new legislation, courts examining a patent claim will conduct a proportionality check to decide whether an injunction would cause “undue hardship” to the alleged infringer or any third party. Ludwig von Reiche, IP2Innovate's board member told Wall Street Journal, that the law was an important step towards creating a better balance between patent and innovation protection. It remains to be seen how judges apply the new law, he added.

 

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IP2Innovate

SEP regulation: a step in the right direction

BRUSSELS, 28 April 2023 – IP2Innovate welcomes the European Commission’s proposal to reform the licensing of standard essential patents. “This initiative should at least help level the playing field when standard essential patents licensing is involved,” said Patrick Oliver, executive director of IP2Innovate. “The proposal isn’t as bold as it was a week ago, but it still has certain important reforms in place. Opponents of this reform have lobbied intensely for the Commission to abandon it. I hope that in an effort to compromise, the Commission hasn’t opened up loopholes that would undermine its effectiveness,” he added. IP2Innovate welcomes the Commission’s effort to inject much needed transparency into SEP licensing, limiting the instances where patent owners could abuse the system. In his press conference on 27 April, Commissioner Thierry Breton referred to how the current SEP system enables patent owners to extract excessive royalties. “He is right. This happens not only with SEPs but also in the broader patent system too,” said Mr Oliver, adding: "We hope he is also right when he says this practise will become impossible in the areas of SEPs, and that he then turns his attention to fixing related problems that plague the broader patents system in Europe.” IP2Innovate members collectively have thousands of European patents, including SEPs. They believe that patents play a vital role in the innovation process. But when the system is abused patents become an obstacle to innovation. And it’s not only happening with SEPs. Many patent assertion entities (PAEs) are in business to exploit the weaknesses in the system. IP2Innovate was established in 2016 to combat patent abuse by these PAEs, often referred to as patent trolls. It has been pushing for courts to move away from granting automatic injunctions in patent disputes, and instead apply remedies that are proportionate, especially when highly complex products are involved.
WIPR

Implementers praise German patent reforms

Implementers have welcomed reforms to Germany’s laws which weaken patent owners’ right to an injunction if successful in litigation, but their impact on case law remains to be seen.
expansion.com

Apple y Microsoft instan a la UE a plantar cara a los ‘trolls’ de patentes. [Expansion | 17.01.2020]

35 companies signed a letter urging Brussels to take action against companies that buy patents with the sole purpose to make business out of them.
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