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German patent courts and appeals

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This article describes which bodies handle approval, rejection, and disputes of patent validity in Germany.


What's what

BGH = Bundesgerichtshof = Federal Court of Justice (sometimes translated "German Supreme Court").

When the BGH announces a decision, it waits a month or more before publishing the details/reasons for the decision.


(While this article is waiting for better info, this will have to do.)

Former Chief Judge of the USA's CAFC, Paul Redmond Michel, described the German system when reporting from a panel discussion:[1]

When the German judge talked he pointed out that although he’s on the German Supreme Court, they have specialization within their court, and he’s part of the Tenth Senate which does all the IP cases, and only IP cases. And the only higher court in Germany is the so-called Constitutional Court, and it’s not allowed to hear patent cases. And therefore, it can’t overrule or tinker with the law developed by the German Supreme Courts Patent Senate.

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