Bucerius Law School, Hamburg, Germany
October 11, 2013

Dr. Michael Holzhäuser (DLA Piper)
Patent Wars: The Commission Strikes Back

The conflict between patent protection and free competition has been a much debated topic in recent years, particularly when it came to standard-essential patents (SEPs), i.e. patented technology so essential that it presents an industry standard without practicable alternative. With the German Federal Court of Justice's (FCJ) "Orange-Book-Standard" landmark decision of 2009, this conflict appeared to be almost settled for SEPs. Now, sparked by remarks by the European Commission, the patent war enters its next round, this time refereed by the European Court of Justice. In submission proceedings in the case of Huawei/ZTE, the district court of Düsseldorf has now raised the question with the European court under what circumstances a SEP owner abuses its dominant position on the relevant market. The presentation will address latest developments and their future relevance on this still highly topical debate.