Dr. Sandra Mueller

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Through the Fire? Not Anymore – European Court of Justice strengthens Rights of Patent Owners in Germany

For many years, German courts would, in principle, only grant a preliminary injunction in a patent case, if the patent in suit had “gone through the fire” in the sense of having survived an adversarial opposition or nullity proceeding at first instance. This case law was based on the consideration that it can be extremely … Continue Reading

Ready or Not: Your Trademark Portfolio in the Metaverse

More and more companies are entering the Metaverse leading to a trend towards increased filings of trademarks in the “virtual” classes. This blog has reported on this trend here and here. Whilst the SPB Team does not blindly follow trends, we are advising all our trademark clients (even the more “conservative” ones) now to file … Continue Reading

Breaking News from Karlsruhe: Progress on the Unified Patent Court (UPC)

The progress on the ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPC Agreement) had been delayed due to two constitutional complaints filed before the Constitutional Court in Germany. It was not the first attack on German UPC legislation. A first act of approval had been adopted by the Bundestag in March 2017, but … Continue Reading

Make it a double! Brexit Transition of EU Trademarks and Designs Accomplished

With the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, the EU legislation governing the EU trademark and design system ceased to apply to the UK. While Brexit trade deal talks were in full swing, the SPB Team worked through all administrative details to comply with the new Brexit requirements, which took effect on … Continue Reading

Ongoing Challenges for Fashion Brands in Germany – Legal Issues with Style Names Revisited

Using first names as style names to assist consumers in distinguishing between certain items, styles or washes within a collection is a widespread practice in the fashion industry. Compared to numerical identifiers, names may trigger emotions and are much easier to remember. Style names may be used in manifold ways, e.g. on labels sewn in … Continue Reading

Case Closed? German Federal Court of Justice Issues Groundbreaking Judgment on FRAND Rules in Sisvel v. Haier

Recent Supreme Court decisions have added clarity to the interpretation of the law of Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) and Fair, Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) licensing rules in Europe. On 5 May 2020, the German Federal Court of Justice issued its decision in Sisvel v. Haier.[1] The reasons for the judgment were published on 7 July … Continue Reading

Brompton Bicycle: European Court of Justice Unfolds Requirements for Copyright Protection of Functional Shapes

Protection of functional shapes is not just a matter of patent law. If patent protection does not exist or has already expired, the question arises whether shapes with a technical function may be eligible for protection by trade marks, designs, copyright or unfair competition law/passing-off. In order to prevent monopolies on technical solutions prolonging the … Continue Reading

Apply Now for the EUIPO Trade Mark and Design Education Programme

Open for registration until 30 June 2020, the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is about to launch the third edition of its EUIPO Trade Mark and Design Education Programme (ETMD EP). The ETMD EP is a training programme for IP practitioners delivered by EUIPO staff, IP professionals and academics. It focuses on all practical aspects … Continue Reading

Squire Patton Boggs Celebrates World IP Day

Today is World IP Day, a day established by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to “learn about the role that intellectual property (IP) rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity.” The theme for 2020 is “Innovation for a Green Future,” and WIPO’s website and magazine contemplate how various IP regimes matter for addressing climate … Continue Reading

Underestimated Risks: M&A and German Employee Inventions

American and Asian companies considering investments in Europe often focus on targets based in Germany, Europe’s largest national economy. Many buyers are not aware that due to the particularities of German employee invention law the patent portfolio of the target may contain considerable risks with regard to patent ownership. In the worst case, such “skeletons … Continue Reading
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