Upcoming conference: Mannheim IP Forum on July 2 — top-notch roster of speakers from judiciary and academia

For those interested in the world’s most popular patent jurisdiction, I have a warm recommendation: on next week’s Friday (July 2, 2021), the Interdisciplinary Center for Intellectual Property (in German “Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Geistiges Eigentum” (IZG)) will hold its annual conference at Mannheim Castle, just across the street from the Mannheim Regional Court–one of the courts that almost everyone involved with patent litigation has already been to.

You can find the conference program on the IZG’s homepage. If you don’t want to settle for a simple HTML layout, a flashier option exists: the conference program flyer (PDF).

You can attend physically or over the Internet, and the registration form is here, but be aware that the conference will be held in German. I’m going to report on parts of it.

The primary organizer is Professor Lea Tochtermann. The first speaker–sort of a keynoter–will be Professor Peter Meier-Beeck, the Presiding Judge of an antitrust-specialized “senate” (division) of the Federal Court of Justice and previously a patent judge. He’ll discuss his court’s Sisvel v. Haier case law, which was the final one of the topics addressed by the podcast I published on Monday. One of my podcast panelists, patent litigator Dr. Christof Augenstein of Kather Augenstein, is also going to be among the Mannheim speakers next week. He’ll discuss the protection of confidential business information with a particular focus on standard-essential patent (SEP) enforcement.

After Professor Meier-Beck, Judge Dr. Georg Werner will discuss the lower courts’ current FRAND case law. Judge Dr. Werner is currently presiding over a commercial law division of the Munich I Regional Court but widely expected to succeed Judge Dr. Matthias Zigann as presiding judge of the same court’s Seventh Civil Chamber, while Judge Dr. Zigann is going to preside over the patent-specialized division of the Munich Higher Regional Court as of next year. Judge Dr. Werner is also a part-time lecturer at a German university.

The final conference session will be a panel discussion moderated by Professor Tochtermann. The panelists include Judge Professor Meier-Beck, Judge Andreas Voss (“Voß” in German; the presiding judge of the patent-specialized division of the Karlsruhe Higher Regional Court, which hears all appeals from Mannheim), Judge Dr. Daniel Voß (“Voss” in German; presiding judge of one of the three patent-specialized divisions of the Dusseldorf Regional Court and arguably the most patentee-friendly Dusseldorf judge at the moment), and Judge Dr. Werner. The four judges will be joined by a fifth panelist: the aforementioned Dr. Augenstein.

The topic of the panel discussion is broadly defined as “the impact of current Federal Court of Justice case law on the lower courts’ judicial practice.”

In the conference program you can find several more presentations, but in this blog post I mostly wanted to focus on the speakers who had recently been mentioned on my blog.

This promises to be one of the most interesting German patent law conferences in quite a while–probably the most significant event of its kind since sometime prior to the pandemic.

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