Miscellaneous  |  10/23/2020

Evaluation of the Munich Proceedings in Patent Litigation – The Results Are Now Available

The regional court Munich I is one of only 12 German courts responsible for patent matters, along with Mannheim and Düsseldorf. For the past ten years, the „Münchner Verfahren“ (Munich Proceedings in Patent Litigation), which has now been evaluated in a research project at the Institute, has been an important factor for Munich as a patent location.

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Photo: Justiz Bayern.

With the European Patent Office (EPO), Federal Patent Court (BPatG), German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA), institutions of the new Unified Patent Court (UPC), the Patent Attorney Chamber, numerous lawyers and patent attorneys, patent services as well as many innovative Bavarian companies with large patent portfolios, Munich applies as the “European Patent Capital”.

The regional court Munich I is one of only 12 German courts responsible for so-called patent matters, in particular patent infringement cases. As a rule, the plaintiff has the choice of which court to call. The regional court Munich I is third in terms of the number of entries behind Düsseldorf and Mannheim. An important factor for the patent location Munich is the „Münchner Verfahren“ (Munich Proceedings in Patent Litigation).

The strict deadlines of the procedure ideally lead to a first-instance ruling after 12 months. In contrast to other courts, Munich has a detailed first hearing, where the court discusses critical issues with the parties. Then, the parties have to make further written statements until the second hearing.

Scientific Evaluation By Max Planck Researchers – The Results

Ten years after its introduction, the procedure has been evaluated in order to gain knowledge for future improvements. The scientific evaluation was carried out by the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition as part of a research project.

For the evaluation, representatives of parties to the litigation – mostly patent attorneys, and lawyers from law firms and companies – were interviewed through a structured questionnaire. In addition, case data on the length and outcome of litigation proceedings were systematically collected. On Thursday, 22 October 2020, the results were presented in an online event at the Palace of Justice in Munich.

“The participation in our survey was remarkably good. Those surveyed appreciate the fact that with this evaluation, the court calls on the legal profession to make suggestions for improvements,” reports Dietmar Harhoff.

The synopsis of the answers received in the survey shows that the procedure is seen as an outstanding locational advantage of the Munich court. Nearly 80 percent of the respondents believe that the introduction of the Munich Proceedings has considerably increased Munich’s attractiveness as a location for patent litigation.

Dietmar Harhoff emphasizes: “In patent litigation, attorneys appreciate first and foremost predictability and qualitatively well-founded decisions. Accordingly, they recommend in particular continuity in the composition of the chambers and a stronger specialization of the judges in patent law for the further development of the Munich location. Such measures could still increase the attractiveness of the location.”

The survey also showed possible approaches for a further improvement of the so-called „Hinweise zum Münchner Verfahren“ (Notes and Instructions on the Munich Proceedings in Patent Litigation), which the two chambers want to examine and update, if necessary.

A detailed report on the evaluation results will be presented by the end of the year.

More information:
Interview with Dr. Andrea Schmidt, President of the regional court Munich I, in JUVE-Patent (in English)
Press Release of the regional court Munich I on the results of the evaluation (10/22/2020) (in German)
Press Release of the regional court Munich I on the establishment of a new chamber for copyright law (10/01/2020) (in German)