Intellectual property (IP) constitutes the core piece of any new technological development and is often one of a company’s most valuable assets. Consequently, there is a strong need for effective protection. At the same time, disputes in the IP sector typically reflect the global integration of enterprises and therefore often concern various jurisdictions. The quality levels of legal protection across the globe, however, differ considerably.

Key decision makers in international enterprises often moan about a lack of expertise and the risk of cost explosions in IP disputes. The specialised patent chambers at German courts might be well known for their judicial quality in IP matters, as well as for their rather time and cost efficient decision-making process. Nevertheless, it is difficult to offer practical and effective solutions that take into account the global cross-links of an IP dispute on a national level. This is because national jurisdiction is limited to the territory of the respective court and the enforcement of national court rulings abroad may often prove difficult.

Furthermore, IP disputes frequently arise in the context of licence agreements, raising questions as to the entitlement of royalties as well as the validity of the respective IP rights under different national laws. In this regard, disputes related to technology standards become increasingly frequent. Standards play an important role in modern technology. The Internet of Things (IoT), as well as progressing digitalisation in all industrial sectors, depends on standardised technologies, especially with respect to data and communication processes. Furthermore, autonomous driving and initiatives for an Industry 4.0 require numerous interconnected products based on standardised technologies.

Oct-Dec 2018 issue

CMS Hasche Sigle