Berlin and Bodenheim, 02 July 2020 - The Federal Association of IT Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (BITMi) and the Patent Association welcome in principle the introduction of a European patent jurisdiction. Following the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court in spring, the original draft law for ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court is to be simply put to a vote again, despite serious shortcomings. The two nationwide associations vehemently oppose the planned procedure.
The Patent Association and BITMi have sent in and published a statement. The law on the ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court is to be voted on during this legislative period. When the Agreement enters into force, the associated Regulation on an EU patent (European patent with unitary effect) would also take effect as the second part of the patent package.
Dr. Heiner Flocke, Chairman of the Patent Association, looks back: "The nightly ad hoc vote by a few remaining members of the previous German Bundestag on an issue of the EU patent package that is so important for small and medium-sized enterprises and innovation leaders in particular had taken the Federal Constitutional Court by storm. This must not now be repeated with the necessary two-thirds majority! Rather, it is to be seen as an opportunity to remedy the deficiencies in the rules of procedure, especially on the issue of suspension. In view of the far too many convictions of alleged infringers on the basis of patents that are later recognised as not valid, infringement judgments must be suspended as a rule or a patent review must also be carried out by a technically staffed infringement court.
Dr. Oliver Grün, President of BITMi, classifies the renewed attempt as follows: "Patents and patent jurisdiction are a decisive topic for the framework conditions of small and medium-sized IT businesses. The agreement entails the danger that important questions of patent procedural law will be removed from parliamentary control. We therefore call on the German Bundestag to secure its own decision-making powers on a permanent basis. The European patent package has numerous shortcomings. It can only be of benefit to small and medium-sized enterprises if it is improved."
In recent years, despite dubious legal basis, software-related patents have been granted on a large scale, which exclusively claim basic software solutions. This has led to a collision situation between patent law and copyright claims, which stands in the way of a legally secure exploitation of computer programs by their developers on the basis of copyright law. Due to the existence of tens of thousands of software-related patents in Germany and Europe, especially small and medium-sized IT businesses are today exposed to incalculable cost and liability risks.
Here you can find the joint statement of the Patent Association and BITMi: https://www.bitmi.de/wp-content/uploads/200702_BITMi_Stellungnahme_Patentreform.pdf
Read the draft of the upcoming legislation here: https://www.bmjv.de/SharedDocs/Gesetzgebungsverfahren/Dokumente/RefE_EPG%C3%9C_Vertragsgesetz.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=3
Read the March press release from the BMJV
You can find the press release of the Federal Constitutional Court in the detailed form here: https://www.bundesverfassungsgericht.de/SharedDocs/Pressemitteilungen/DE/2020/bvg20-020.html
About the Federal Association of IT Medium-sized Businesses:
The Federal Association of IT Medium-Sized Enterprises (BITMi) represents over 2,000 IT companies and is thus the largest IT trade association for exclusively medium-sized interests in Germany.