A tremendous advantage to patentees is that infringement cases are tried separately from challenges to the validity of a patent. Likewise, many of the procedural “outs” that defendants enjoy in the United States (such as motions to dismiss, early claim construction rulings, and summary judgment proceedings) are unavailable in Germany — accordingly, the first time the parties appear in court is typically for the trial on the merits. Defendants, therefore, must be ready to act quickly to develop their case, to prepare their validity challenge, and to pursue other available defenses.
German damages awards are typically lower than in the United States. Nonetheless, there may be nowhere better for winning an injunction if the patentee has strong patent rights. Although infringement relief will be limited to Germany’s borders, being enjoined from selling in Europe’s biggest market may be intolerable for many companies. A German enforcement strategy, or a parallel strategy of enforcement in Germany and the United States, may, therefore, result in a global settlement of disputes.
• Enforcement actions through infringement trials and customs proceedings; and
Moreover, key provisions of German and European law are provided in the appendices, as well as sample pleadings, ending with a list of key distinctions between U.S. and German/European law.