German Patent Reform Targets “Automatic” Injunctions in Patent Litigation

Dr. Stephanie Bucher, Director & Corporate Legal Counsel, Infineon Technologies AG, Germany

In contrast to other jurisdictions, German patent law still provides for automatic injunctions in case of patent infringement. In other words, injunctive relief is not a discretionary remedy, but must be granted as a matter of law. In particular, no proportionality test is implemented in the German Patent Act that would allow judges to, e.g., refrain from granting an injunction in cases where the infringement occurs within a sub-component of a complex final product. Therefore, a defendant risks the loss of the full value of the final good, irrespective of where in the supply chain the infringement occurs. The economic implications of automatic injunctions have been well illustrated in a recent dispute between Broadcom Inc. and Audi AG. The settlement payment range in this case is estimated at the high end at EUR 876 million and was likely around EUR 533 million.

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Germany Intellectual Property Electronics February 2020 Vol.13, No. 50, Winter 2020

Dr. Stephanie Bucher

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Dr. Stephanie Bucher is a full certified lawyer and Director/Corporate Legal Counsel at Infineon Technologies AG, a world leader in semiconductor solutions based in Munich/Germany. She joined Infineon in October 2011. In this position, she negotiates complex and high-volume IP transactions with major companies worldwide, in particular technology license agreements, R&D agreements and cooperation agreements, and manages European litigation and disputes in IP. Dr. Bucher is lead IP counsel for Infineon’s divisions “Automotive” and “Power Management & Multimarket”. Prior to joining Infineon, she was an associate specialized in patent litigation at an international law firm in Munich, advising and representing clients in court and out-of-court disputes. Dr. Bucher is a graduate of the University of Münster/Germany, including studies in Seville/Spain, San Diego/USA and Buenos Aires/Argentina, and earned her PhD at the University of Munich. She was a scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law in Munich. Dr. Bucher completed her legal clerkship at the Munich Higher Regional Court, including an assignment to the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO in Geneva/Switzerland.

Infineon Technologies AG

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Infineon Technologies AG is a world leader in semiconductor solutions based in Munich/Germany. Infineon markets semiconductors and systems for automotive, industrial, and multimarket sectors, as well as chip card and security products. Infineon has about 41,000 employees. In fiscal year 2019, the company achieved sales of €8.0 billion.

Germany Intellectual Property Electronics February 2020 Vol.13, No. 50, Winter 2020
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