In the November edition of MARKENARTIKEL, the German magazine specializing on trademark issues, Dr. Tilman Müller, attorney-at-law at Eisenführ Speiser, reviews a decision handed down by the Upper Regional Court in Düsseldorf concerning contributory patent infringements.
Combination patents have until recently been a reliable means of protecting not only appliances, but also their respective spare and replacement parts, which often account for substantial profits. Due to the Düsseldorf decision, it will now become more difficult to keep competitors at bay: For the first time, a court has judged a replacement part belonging to the prior art to be a non-essential part of an invention. For contributory patent infringements, the novelty of individual elements of an invention has been irrelevant until now, with the novelty of their combination being the decisive factor.
New IP strategies are now called for – be it a different approach to drafting patent applications, or application for complementary non-technical IP rights like designs or trademarks.
Eisenführ Speiser supports you in developing a tailor-made strategy for your product and is at your disposal as a full-service law firm for all IP-related matters.