The recent proposals for a reform of the German patent act: A true ‘modernisation’ of the patent system?

Spyros Makris, IPR Policy Manager, Ericsson GmbH

The ‘modernisation’ of the patent law has dominated the debates around intellectual property in Germany in recent times. The need for changes to the current system has been controversially discussed among stakeholders, revealing very diverse positions especially between affected industry sectors. In January 2020, the German Federal Ministry of Justice and for Consumer Protection (MoJ) published a discussion draft for a new legislation containing several proposals for amendments to the German Patent Act (Patentgesetz) as well as other related statutory provisions (discussion draft). The goal of the MoJ was to initiate a public consultation on the proposals, the outcomes of which would be taken into account in the next steps of the legislative procedure. The present paper will guide the readers through the discussion draft, focusing on those proposals of the MoJ that are expected to have the most significant impact in practice. Looking at the current legal situation and taking the background underlying the concrete proposals into account, the paper aims to analyse – from a practitioner’s perspective – the potential benefits and risks associated with the suggested reforms.

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Intellectual Property Telecommunications April 2020 Vol.13, No. 51, Spring 2020

Spyros Makris


Dr. Spyros Makris is IPR Policy manager at Ericsson. His main responsibilities include legal advice, research and training on various topics regarding the licensing and assertion of Intellectual Property Rights and especially patents. Prior to joining Ericsson, Spyros worked for almost seven years as a lawyer in Munich, focusing on international commercial litigation and arbitration. Before moving to Munich, Spyros worked for three years as a lecturer in international business law at the University of Applied Sciences of West Macedonia in Greece. Spyros is admitted to the Bar in Germany (Syndikusrechtsanwalt) and Greece (Dikigoros). He holds a PhD degree (Dr. iur) and a master’s degree (LL.M.) from the University of Constance, Germany as well as a law degree from the Democritian University of Thrace, Greece.

Intellectual Property Telecommunications April 2020 Vol.13, No. 51, Spring 2020