Monday, September 4, 2017

The Recent German Compulsory Licensing Case

In July I published a post titled German Court Affirms Preliminary Grant of Compulsory License for HIV Drug, in which I wrote:
. . . when Germany's Federal Supreme Court (the Bundesgerichtshof, or BGH) recently affirmed a ruling of the Federal Patent Court  (Bundespatentgericht) awarding Merck a preliminary injunction to continue selling the HIV drug raltegravir (trade name Isentress), it's big news.  The story has already been covered in other sources including a recent post by Mark Schweizer on IPKat (which also links to this press release, in German, from the BGH, which hasn't yet published its judgment); and discussion of the August 31, 2016 decision of the Federal Patent Court can be found in this post on Kluwer Patent Blog from this past March and this post from Mayer Brown's "All About IP" from this past November.  There's also a summary of the Federal Patent Court decision by Dr. Uwe Friedrich in the May 2017 issue of Mitteilungen der deutschen Patentanwälten.
I also noted that the facts giving rise to the dispute appeared to be rather unusual, and recommended not "jumping to the conclusion that the BGH's recent decision heralds a new era of compulsory licensing in Germany."

Anyway, last week Thomas Musmann and Henrik Timmann published a post on the Kluwer Patent Blog reporting that the BGH has now published its judgment, linking to the judgment (in the original German), and summarizing the main points. I confess that I haven't yet gotten around to reading the actual judgment myself (and today is Labor Day in the U.S., so I probably won't get around to doing it today either) but I do recommend the Kluwer write-up, and perhaps in due time I'll have more to say about the case myself.

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