18 September 2018Jurisdiction reportsJens Künzel

Germany jurisdiction report: Making claims for injunctive relief effective

These decisions were rendered by the First Civil Senate of the Supreme Court, which is in charge of unfair competition, trademark and design matters, but not of patent infringement matters. Until quite recently it was a matter of some doubt in German legal circles whether lower patent infringement courts would follow the lead of the Supreme Court.

In April 2018, the Düsseldorf Court of Appeal rendered a decision in a preliminary injunction case for patent infringement which seems to shed some light on this legal matter. The Düsseldorf District Court, by way of a preliminary injunction, had prohibited the defendants from selling patent-infringing razor blade units which were sold exclusively to end customers via drugstore and retail chains. The debtors informed their customers that a preliminary injunction had been granted, and discontinued their own acts of use.

The creditor did not consider this to be sufficient and initiated foreclosure proceedings on the grounds that the injunction under patent law also demanded that the defendants require their customers to discontinue distribution and offer to take back the infringing products. The District Court rejected the application.

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