Patent Law Conference
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Munich International Patent Law Conference 2018

"Equivalent Patent Infringements"

The (sixth) Munich International Patent Law Conference 2018 addresses
one of the major issues of patent law: Equivalent Patent Infringement.
For many years, patent infringements under the doctrine of equivalents
were considered to be no practical risk (or chance). This certainly held
true for all EPO member states. But also from the U.S., the message
was to “forget about it in practice”.

In the last few years, this has changed. For Germany, the Bundesgerichtshof
rendered its landmark decisions Diglycidyl Compound (Diglycidverbindung)
of 2011 and Cookware (Kochgeschirr) of 2015, which were followed by a
number of lower court decisions. However, in its decision Occlusion Device (Okklusionsvorrichtung) of 2011 the Bundesgerichtshof also expressed that
the patentee must not have “waived” its claim for protection by disclosing the
alternative embodiment in the patent (without claiming it).

In the UK, it looks as if the Supreme Court revived the doctrine of equivalents
in last summer’s case Actavis vs. Eli Lilly about Pemetrexed. From the U.S.
Federal Judge James L. Robart tells us that the doctrine of equivalents is still
around, as it is in Japan, Asia’s leading patent system. There, in 2016 the
IP High Court decided and readjusted the doctrine of equivalents in its landmark
decision Maxacalcitol, and we are happy to welcome IP High Court’s Chief
Judge Misao Shimizu-sensei as our distinguished speaker.  

For patent drafting, we need to understand how to draft patent applications so
as to best cover – already known or not yet existing – equivalents. Until a few
years ago, it had been clear to German practitioners that indicating alternative
embodiments in the description helped to extend the scope of protection under
the doctrine of equivalents. For Germany, this no longer seems to be true, as
mentioning alternatives without claiming them could be considered “waivers”
of the right to patent. But how do patent applications need to be drafted in
other important jurisdictions?  

At the Munich International Patent Law Conference 2018, we shall scrutinize
and compare the doctrine of equivalent’s factual background as well as its
substantive requirements – always with regard to their consequences for
litigating patents as well as for drafting patent of applications in Germany,
France, the UK, the U.S., and Japan. Because in 2018 our fifth country
once again will be Japan, just as at the first Munich International Patent
Law Conference 2013!

Date and Time
Friday, 22 June 2018
9:00 am. - 5:00 pm.

DPMA Forum, Zweibrückenstr. 12, 80331 Munich, Germany
How to get there

The conference will be held in English with no translation provided. 

Post-Conference Dinner
As in previous years, the conference fee will include the post-conference
dinner at Brasserie OskarMaria, Salvatorplatz 1, 80333 Munich,
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm.

Registration for the conference 2018 will open on Monday, 12 March 2018. 

For further information
Please contact Ms. Ulrika Voss via email