Germany: IP and Antitrust

Advocate general Wathelet’s opinion in Huwaei v ZTE,1 in advance of the Court of Justice of the European Union’s final decision, appears to have already influenced the trajectory of German case law and has earned early adopters by judges and courts in Düsseldorf, Mannheim and Karlsruhe. Far-reaching statements by senior Düsseldorf circuit judges, followed in rapid succession by cases in Düsseldorf, Mannheim and Karlsruhe, indicate a change – and a significant one at that – of the German approach to standard essential patent (SEP) licensing, FRAND rate determination and whether SEP holders may seek injunctions against unlicensed implementers.