News 2020

Latest news and important information

+++ News – Munich, June 26, 2020 +++

Prüfer and its Partners Listed on IAM Patent 1000 2020

Intellectual Property specialists, Prüfer & Partner, are celebrating as the firm together with its Managing Partners Jürgen Feldmeier, Dr. Dorothea Hofer and Dr. Andreas Oser are listed in the prestigious ranking IAM Patent 1000 2020. Prüfer & Partner is included in IAM Patent 1000 2020 as a recommended firm for Prosecution and Nullity in Germany. Jürgen Feldmeier is yet again recognized as a recommended individual for Patent Prosecution and Nullity. Managing Partners Dr. Dorothea Hofer and Dr. Andreas Oser are also honored to be recommended individuals for Patent Prosecution and Nullity.

What the ranking said
IAM characterized Prüfer & Partner as "The firm has technically proficient and skilled patent attorneys, and in addition to this, they are also well versed in the law. This places them in a relatively unique position where European and German patent prosecution are concerned – particularly in opposition proceedings". According to IAM, the clients of Prüfer & Partner cited “The overall level of its services is excellent. Its response is always very quick and its ability to understand and analyze legal and technical issues is high”.

As a recommended individual, Jürgen Feldmeier shines in the fields of mechanical engineering and automotive technology, and wins plaudits for his “expert opinions and comprehensive consultancy”: “He has a strong ability to understand complicated technical matters, provide appropriate advice and act with urgency.”

IAM also comments on our managing partner Dr. Dorothea Hofer as "provides decisive support in contentious scenarios; her technical know-how is underpinned by industry insight gained working for Siemens in the area of semiconductor physics".

For his engagement in patent drafting, oppositions and appeals, Dr. Andreas Oser is defined as “smart and reliable”.

About IAM Patent 1000
The prestigious ranking IAM Patent 1000, published by Globe Business Media Group in London, is one of the world's leading rankings with regard to patent services providers. The recommendation of the ranking for this year is based on 1,700 interviews over several months with patent professionals, attorneys at law, in-house counsel across the globe.

The IAM Patent 1000 features 48 country specific chapters analysing local patent professional services markets and detailing the firms and individuals identified as leaders in their respective fields.


+++ News – Munich, June 18, 2020 +++

Prüfer & Partner Re-recognized by Financial Times as one of the Europe's Leading Patent Law Firms 2020

We are delighted to announce that Prüfer & Partner has been once again recognized by the Financial Times, one of the world’s leading news organisations with a special emphasis on business and economic news, in its special report as one of the Europe's Leading Patent Law Firms 2020.

We see it as an incentive to confirm our clients' confidence in us, and would like to thank them for trusting us with their work. 

The list of Europe’s Leading Patent Law Firms for services around patent prosecution and patent strategy consultation is based on recommendations made by clients and peers. About 7,500 specialist attorneys working in patent law firms and 2,500 experts working in the patent departments of companies were invited to take part in the survey.

To view the full listing, please visit the Financial Times.


+++ News – Munich, 03 June 2020 +++

Jürgen Feldmeier and Dorothea Hofer Listed as IP Stars 2020

Prüfer & Partner is delighted to announce that its Managing Partners Dr. Dorothea Hofer and Mr. Jürgen Feldmeier were listed as IP Stars 2020 by the prestigious ranking Managing Intellectual Property (MIP), the leading specialist guide to IP law firms and practitioners worldwide. This is Mr. Feldmeier's second recognition, following last year's inclusion as IP Star 2019.

IP STARS ranks individuals who are highly regarded by their peers and/or clients or those that are integral to their firm’s success or reputation. We thank our clients and partners for their trust in us and Dr. Hofer and Mr. Feldmeier for bringing us to the place where we are today.

MIP’s legal directory has evolved over the years: the publication started in 1994 but was rebranded in 2013 as IP STARS. The research for IP STARS covers a variety of IP practice areas and more than 70 jurisdictions, making it the most comprehensive and widely respected IP guide in the legal profession. For more information about IP Stars, please visit Managing Intellectual Property (MIP).


+++ News – Munich, 01 April 2020 +++

China-Desk: Time Limits in China due to Corona-Crisis

The China National Intellectual Property Administration issued an Interpretation on 27 March 2020 regarding its Announcement No. 350 (28 January 2020) on time limits missed due to Covid-19, stating that foreign individuals and enterprises can also apply for a restoration of their rights if the loss was due to the Covid-19. Daily updated information regarding the status of other Patent and Trademark Offices you may find on our website.

1. Patents (invention patent, utility model patent, design patent) and layout designs of integrated circuits
Patentees and applicants can restore their patent rights if the loss of rights was due to Covid-19 at the place of the applicant, patentee or his patent attorney. This applies to all common time limits during the application procedures (e.g. responding to office action, payment of fees). The restoration of rights does not apply to the following time limits: claiming priority; grace period for patent novelty; limitation period of action for patent infringement or term of patent protection.

Application process:

  • Time limit for application: 2 months from the date of removal of the obstacle, at the latest within 2 years following the date of the expiration of the time limit that lead to the loss of right;
  • Reasons: force majeure, such as quarantine due to Covid-19 or infection, government ordered closure of facilities or offices;
  • Evidence: e.g. doctor's record on treatment for Covid-19, government order on closure of facilities or offices. These evidence materials are not required if the time limit was missed due to a Covid-19 outbreak in a region that has declared the highest level health emergency;
  • If rights were lost due to Covid-19, there is no official fee for a request for a restoration of rights.

2. Trademarks
For all time limits during the application of trademarks, a similar procedure applies. The difference is that the time limit, during which the applicant or trademark owner is prevented from performing a trademark related action due to Covid-19, is suspended. The applicant or trademark owner shall file an application for continuation of proceedings within 2 months from the removal of the obstacle and provide evidence thereof.

Should you have any questions or considerations how this might impact on your business activities in China, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Christoph Jaeckel, Attorney-at-Law at Prüfer & Partner
Andreas Jacob, Attorney-at-Law and managing partner at Prüfer & Partner (E-Mail: office@pruefer.eu)


+++ News, Munich 20 March 2020 +++

Germany stops ratification of the UPC

 

Today, on 20 March 2020, the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) in Germany published its decision on the complaint against the German agreement to the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and the EU unified patent.
 
According to this decision, the German law approving the UPC and the EU unified patent is null and void.

From the reasons given for the decision it is clear that the BVerfG did not reject the UPC and the EU unified patent per se (i.e. in terms of content), but "only" the German way to consent to it.
The BVerfG saw the law as a de facto constitutional amendment. Since two-thirds majorities of the German Parliament (Bundestag) are required for constitutional amendments under the Basic Law, but this was not the case in the decisive third reading of the law due to the lack of a sufficient number of members of parliament, the law was not compatible with the Basic Law. It should also be noted that the decision was relatively controversial on the bench of the BVerfG itself: three of the total of eight judges were of the opposing opinion that the law did not mean a constitutional change and would therefore not require a two-thirds majority of the parliament to approve it.

Further details and explanations of the decision can be found here.
 
What is the future of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and the EU unitary patent?
In the simplest scenario, the German Parliament will obtain its approval with the two-thirds majority that is then required. In view of the current Corona crisis and the expected bottleneck due to other legislative projects, this will probably only be possible with a significant delay.
On the other hand, the current legal situation in Germany and the UK's departure from the UPC make it increasingly likely that, at the EU level, the entire body of legislation will be called into question or at least reformed, thus postponing the UPC and EU patent indefinitely into the future.
 
We will keep you informed about important developments on this topic.

Dr. Andreas Oser, LL.M., Prüfer & Partner (E-Mail: office@pruefer.eu)


+++ News – Munich, 28 February 2020 +++

United Kingdom is not expected to participate in the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (UPC)

A British government spokesman has announced that the United Kingdom no longer plans to participate in the EU unitary patent and the Unified Patent Court (UPC).

This intention of the new UK government under Boris Johnson is in contrast to the plans that former Prime Minister Theresa May had. The reason for the new position: The agreement on the Unified Patent Court (UPC) would mean that the UK would have to apply EU law and accept the European Court of Justice (ECJ) as a supervisory court. However, this would not be compatible with plans for UK sovereignty.

The consequences of this decision:

  • The location of the central Unified Patent Court (UPC) for the chemical, pharmaceutical and life science sector, which was originally planned for London, must now be relocated. Milan in Italy is being considered as a replacement location.
  • Lawyers/Patent Attorneys domiciled in the United Kingdom will not have the power of representation before the Unified Patent Court (UPC), nor can British judges be members of the UPC courts.
  • Future EU unitary patents will not cover the United Kingdom; at the European Patent Office (EPO), protection for the United Kingdom will only be possible via the classic EP bundle patent.

In Germany, a constitutional complaint against the system of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is still pending. A decision is expected within the next few months. However, the rejection of the new government of the United Kingdom may have an impact on the entire system of unitary patent and UPC. Experts are now expecting a significant delay in their introduction. Some even believe that the entire unit patent and UPC system will have to be revised.

We will keep you informed about important developments in this area.

Dr. Andreas Oser, LL.M., Partner at Prüfer & Partner
Dr. Christian Gärtner, Patent Attorney with Prüfer & Partner (E-Mail: office@pruefer.eu)