Trade Sectrets and Patent Protection

What is the relationship between trade secrets and patents? Are they mutually exclusive or do they complement each other? Do innovative companies have to decide between trade secrets and patents or is there a possibility to make use of both protection variants? Rainer Beetz deals with these questions on the occasion of the implementation of … >> read more


combit versus commit

Will conceptual differences between conflicting signs neutralize acoustic similarities and what does it mean for the injunctive relief if the understanding of the relevant consumers differs throughout the European Union? These questions are touched in the dispute between “combit” and “commit”. The recent decision by the German Supreme Court is commented by our partner Johannes … >> read more


EPO case law: Costs of a late cancellation

In principle, in procedure before the EPO, each party meets its own costs. Under Art 104(1) EPC and Art 16(1)(c) RPBA, however, the BoA may, on request and on grounds of equity, order a different apportionment of costs for acts or omissions prejudicing the timely and efficient conduct of the oral proceedings. There is no … >> read more


EPO case law: Patentability of plants: Implementing Regulations are not EPC-compliant

In decisions G 2/12 and G 2/13, the EBA of the EPO concluded that the scope of application of the term “essentially biological processes for the breeding of plants” in Art 53 lit b EPC is interpreted to the effect that product inventions where the claimed subject-matter is directed to plants or plant material such … >> read more


EPO case law: Novelty due to high degree of purity

A claim defining a compound as having a certain purity lacks novelty over a prior-art disclosure describing the same compound only if the prior art discloses the claimed purity at least implicitly, for example by way of a method for preparing said compound, the method inevitably resulting in the purity as claimed. Such a claim, … >> read more



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