"When two people quarrel" - we’ll support you, for example in infringement proceedings in court, in opposition or revocation proceedings or at arbitration tribunals. Furthermore, we’ll show you exactly what to do when counterfeits of your products come into circulation. To make sure you are on the safe side when the worst comes to the worst.

Your intellectual property rights in court: patent infringement proceedings

In many cases, going to court is – objectively speaking – the only sensible solution. We have been representing our clients in infringement proceedings for decades. We enforce their IP rights in court or defend them against unjustified claims by third parties. Infringement proceedings almost always involve the law governing immunity from liability suits. In Germany, this takes place in parallel proceedings, particularly in the case of technical IP rights such as patents. This means that we frequently represent our clients before the Federal Patent Court, the Federal Court of Justice, and the Patent and Trademark Offices, and will add the Unified Patent Court (UPC) to this list in the future. Düsseldorf, where our law firm is based, has been Germany’s leading court location for patent infringement proceedings since the Federal Republic of Germany was founded. Proceedings led by COHAUSZ & FLORACK, for example in the field of entertainment and communication technology, have also played a part in this. Of course, we also represent our clients at all other German courts – be it concerning infringement of patents and utility models, infringement of trademarks or designs, contractual matters, or infringement of competition law.

We have particularly strong expertise in the enforcement of standard essential patents (SEPs) in what are known as “FRAND” proceedings. We have been instrumental in FRAND patent infringement proceedings based on SEPs from the very beginning. The holders of SEPs, for example for video compression and communication technology, have relied on our advice in complex proceedings against the users of their technologies for more than two decades.

We have successfully represented our clients as claimants against Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Lenovo, HTC, ZTE, Daimler, Dell, and TCL, among others.

Alternative dispute resolution and arbitration

The German judicial system is overloaded in some areas, and these cases can drag on unnecessarily in the state courts. One possible solution: arbitration. We also have extensive experience with this alternative form of dispute resolution. We are not only active as counsel, but also as a referee before important institutions - for example, at the International Court of Arbitration (ICC) in Paris or the Club Espanol de Arbitraje in Madrid. We have often experienced that negotiations can actually lead to good arrangements - arrangements that duly reflect the interests better than a judgment after possibly lengthy and exhausting legal proceedings. We will ascertain whether your case might also benefit from such an opportunity. We’ll support you in settlement negotiations and advise you in all matters related to the organization, initiation, and implementation of alternative dispute resolution procedures - for example, through mediation, arbitration opinions or dispute review boards.

Measures against counterfeiting

Many companies that are dependent on the success of their innovations know the situation: the constant worry that counterfeits of their products may be in circulation. Unfortunately, this fear is often justified. According to the Federation of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), counterfeiting is taking on ever more drastic proportions. In 2013, the organization estimated the damage to the German economy at more than 50 billion Euros annually. And closely connected to the loss of revenue is also the loss of valuable employees - without which innovations would not be possible in the first place. Not to mention the damage to a company’s image caused by inferior counterfeit products. Theregistration of property rights is a prerequisite to being able to assert your own claims in the first place. And we’ll gladly support you in doing so! Which also applies for other measures to combat the counterfeiting of your products effectively.

Find out more in our CFUpdate: Intellectual property rights at trade fairs.

Stopping counterfeits: border seizure

If you suspect that your property rights have been violated through counterfeiting, you should quickly contact investigators, attorneys, and authorities in the country from which the counterfeits allegedly come. The more evidence you are able to gather, the better. Import and export control at customs are particularly effective in the fight against international counterfeiting. This is where goods that violate the property rights of others can be confiscated at the outer borders of the EU or Germany. Anyone who wants to use this procedure, can apply for a so-called “border seizure” at the Industrial Property Rights Department of German Customs Authorities in Munich.  Together with this application you also have the possibility of providing training for the customs officers in order to give them deeper insights into your own products and potential counterfeiting.