Germany

 

IPPT20110510,BGH, Okklusionsvorrichtung
Scope of protection. In case of inconsistencies between the claims and the description, those elements of the description, which are not set forth in the claim, are generally not included in the scope of protection. The description may only be taken into account insofar as it can be read as an illustration of the subject of the claim. If the specification discloses several ways a certain technical effect can be achieved, but only one of these options has been included in the claim, then generally the use of one of the other possibilities constitutes no infringement of the patent by equivalent means.

 

IPPT20100713, BGH, Klammernahtgerät
Enabling public availability: An invention is available to the public in an enabling manner when the information in the patent application discloses so much technical information to the person skilled in the art that he is able to successfully execute the invention. It is not necessary that as a minimum an embodiment that can be used as such is directly and unambiguously disclosed

 

IPPT20100422, BGH, Dynamische Dokumentengenerierung
Technical character data processing system. A method consisting of the direct interaction between elements of a data processing system has technical character irrespective of whether it is defined by technical features. Such a method is not excluded from patentability if it solves a concrete technical problem with technical means. A solution with technical means requires that system components are modified or addressed in a new manner. It is sufficient that the execution of a computer program, used for solving the technical problem, is determined by technical features outside the com-puter or, if the solution consists in making a computer program, that the program takes into account the technical restrictions of the computer.

 

IPPT20020312, BGH, Schneidmesser I

Equivalence: For an embodiment that is outside the literal meaning of a patent claim to fall within the scope of protection, it is not sufficient (1) that it solves the problem underlying the invention by means that, although modified, objectively have the same technical effect, and (2) the person skilled in the art is able to determine on the basis of his professional knowledge only, that the modified element has the same effect, but  it is also required (3) that the considerations, which the skilled person has to apply to determine that the modified element has the same effect, are drawn from the technical teaching of the patent.

 

IPPT20020312, BGH, Schneidmesser II
Equivalence: If the patent, when viewed objectively, does not cover the technical content of the invention, protection is limited to what corresponds with the literal meaning of the claims.

 

IPPT20020312,BGH, Custodiol II
Scope of protection: Interpretation of claim with figures and dimensions: The extent to which figures or dimensions in a claim are binding is not to be determined by their relationship to the state of the art. However, this does not prevent details about the state of the art in the description from being used to interpret such specifications.

 

IPPT20020312,BGH, Kunststoffrohrteil
Scope of protection. Prosecution history:  In principle the prosecution history is not relevant for determining the scope of protection of a patent. The examination of equivalence and its recognizability for the person skilled in the art must be based on the (specific) effect of the feature in its specific limitation by figures in the context of the patent claim.

 

IPPT19990518, BGH, Räumschild
Scope of protection: whether the switch from hard-material granules to the use of corresponding rods in itself requires more than the powers of cognition of the skilled person at the priority date.

 

IPPT19940317, BGH, Zerlegvorrichtung für Baumstämme
Scope of protection of a patent does not encompass equivalent modifications, which are based on an inventive step.

 

IPPT19990302, BGH, Spannschraube
Function-aimed interpretation: The interpretation of a European patent should not be limited to the wording, but must be based on the overall technical context as communicated to the person skilled in the art by the content of the patent. Not the linguistic or logical-scientific determination of the terms used in the patent is critical, but the understanding of the unprejudiced expert. Patent lexicon: Patents provide with regard to the terms used therein their own lexicon. If these terms differ from the general (technical) language then ultimately only the content of the terms resulting from the patent is authoritative. Scope of protection: The protection conferred by a European patent cannot extended to embodiments using substitutes means that entirely or to a considerable extent make no use of the success achieved by the patent, or use them only to an practically no longer relevant extent.

 

IPPT19860429, BGH, Formstein
Equivalence: Under Sec. 14 of the Patent Law 1981 the extent of the protection conferred by a patent generally embraces equivalents to the invention as claimed. The defence that the embodiment alleged to be an equivalent would not be patentable over the prior art is admissible.