Preliminary Injunctive Relief Against Patent Infringements
The topic of our Munich International Patent Law Conference 2017 is as relevant as it is controversial, because not even within Germany, patent infringement courts agree upon the exact requirements that need to be met for a preliminary injunction to be issued.
Rather, there is a whole array of disagreement, partly due to the consequences that preliminary injunctions against alleged infringers usually will have. In all settings in which preliminary injunctive relief is sought against alleged infringers, patent quality is a major issue; not to the least in the German system of bifurcation, where patent infringements and patent validity are tried before different courts. Here, as everywhere, patent infringement courts need to decide which requirements need to met in order for preliminary injunctive relief being available.
As regards patent quality, one question is, whether patents in suit must have survived patent office opposition proceedings or even an annulment suit before the German Federal Patent court or whether infringement courts can judge freely whether said patent forms a sufficient basis for preliminary relief.
Further questions are urgency and the weighing of interest. Is there time pressure, so that a preliminary injunction can be claimed only within weeks after the applicant has learnt about an (alleged) infringement? And do courts need to consider economic consequences that their decisions are likely to yield?
The Munich International Patent Law Conference 2017 aims to explore the requirements under which preliminary injunctive relief against patent infringements is available before courts in Germany, France, the UK, the U.S. and a fifth country that will be announced as soon as a patent judge from the country we are interested in has agreed to speak on this country’s judicial practice.