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Intellectual Property

Germany

Ideas and innovation are the creative potential of a successful business. This intellectual potential becomes a measurable enterprise value when expressed in property rights (e.g. patents, utility patents and copyright) or monetised through licences. Legally watertight advertising campaigns, press materials that are beyond reproach and careful media usage also make a quantifiable contribution to business success.

What others say about us

"CMS has one of the best IP teams in the business."
 (Law firms in Germany)

"The team offers good know-how, experience, value for money and excellent client services."
 (Chambers Guide)

"Clients say that 'nothing compares with' CMS's practice."
 (Legal 500, 2013)

Experience and expertise whenever you need us

CMS assists both SMEs and international corporations to optimise their intellectual property rights and assert them effectively. More than 70 specialised IP lawyers provide tailored advice that is designed to achieve results. Thanks to their experience from practice, teaching and research, they are always familiar with the latest developments across all areas of intellectual property.

Unlike most other areas of law, intellectual property is repeatedly affected by new legislative proposals at a national and international level. Accordingly, our lawyers are widely represented in professional associations and expert committees that deal with these developments and provide expert comment.

Our expertise

CMS – presence in Europe

In European countries outside Germany, the international CMS network provides CMS with access to specialists to advise on your claims out-of-court and enforce them in court. We take over the coordination of parallel infringement cases in various countries.

Key markets and industries

Our experienced team successfully advises companies from every sector, including:

  • Automotive
  • Entertainment
  • TV
  • Internet and new media
  • Cosmetics industry
  • Retail
  • Engineering
  • Medical technology
  • Pharmaceuticals and food
  • Sport
  • Press and publishing
  • Advertising and marketing  
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Choose area

    Design Law

    Design adds value to products and makes them stand out from the crowd. As a cornerstone of your success in business, your design needs to be defended against possible counterfeiters.

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    In-Court and Out-of-Court Representation

    CMS is one of Germany’s leading law firms when it comes to acquiring and defending intellectual property rights. We represent our clients before the courts in all aspects of these matters. Our experts conduct lawsuits right up to the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof – BGH) and before European courts.

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    Border Seizure

    Border seizure is an effective and low-cost method of combating counterfeit goods and illegal parallel imports.

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    Trademark Law

    Trademarks are of major importance for a company’s value and competitive position. The lawyers at CMS Germany offer cost-effective management of your property rights portfolio based on your specific requirements. To do this, we use state-of-the-art software that is precision-tailored to our clients' needs.

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    Patent and Utility Patent Law

    CMS Germany has an effective and experienced team of patent and utility patent specialists. Where issues are particularly complex, we work closely with our clients' own experts and with external patent attorneys.

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    Copyright

    Copyright plays a key role in the exploitation of creative achievements, both offline and online. A current focus is the development of new business models on the Internet.

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    Competition Law (Unfair Competition Act – UWG)

    CMS Germany provides legal advice on designing your advertising and developing new marketing concepts. We aim to work with you to find legally admissible solutions that do not restrict your creativity or business success.

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    The In­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty team

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    Dr. Holger Kraft
    18/08/2017
    Deutsche Bucht off­shore wind farm achieves Fin­an­cial...
    14/09/2017
    EU-US Pri­vacy Shield un­der High Scru­tiny
    On 18 Septem­ber 2017, US Sec­ret­ary of Com­merce Wil­bur Ross and European Com­mis­sion­er Vĕra Jour­ova will launch the first an­nu­al re­view of the EU-US Pri­vacy Shield agree­ment (“Pri­vacy Shield”). The re­view will be a two-day ex­er­cise where European Com­mis­sion rep­res­ent­at­ives.
    30/08/2017
    The leg­al and reg­u­lat­ory chal­lenges of get­ting a bi­osim­il­ar product...
    After a pharma view on bi­osim­il­ars was provided in the pre­vi­ous Ex­pert View column, a leg­al per­spect­ive is provided by Nick Beck­ett, man­aging part­ner at CMS Beijing and glob­al co-head of the firm­'s lifes­ci­ences sec­tor group.
    23/08/2017
    Ger­man con­sti­tu­tion­al chal­lenge to UPCA: new back­ground in­form­a­tion
    The Ger­man Con­sti­tu­tion­al Court (the “Court”) has stopped the rat­i­fic­a­tion of the Agree­ment on a Uni­fied Pat­ent Court (the “UPCA”) dur­ing pre­lim­in­ary pro­ceed­ings due to a con­sti­tu­tion­al chal­lenge made by an un­known ap­plic­ant.
    02/08/2017
    FCJ rules that for­eign dis­trib­ut­ors may be li­able for their dis­trib­ut­or’s...
    On 16 May 2017, the Bundes­gericht­shof (the Ger­man Fed­er­al Court of Justice, “FCJ”), Ger­many’s highest civil court, held that a for­eign product dis­trib­ut­or may be li­able for its dis­trib­ut­or’s ex­port of pat­ent in­fringing products.
    14/07/2017
    HIV drug re­ceives pro­vi­sion­al com­puls­ory pat­ent li­cense
    On 11 Ju­ly 2017, the Bundes­gericht­shof (Ger­man Fed­er­al Court of Justice, “FCJ”), Ger­many’s highest civil court, up­held the de­cision of the Bundes­pat­ent­gericht (Fed­er­al Pat­ent Court, “FPC”) grant­ing a pro­vi­sion­al com­puls­ory pat­ent li­cense for an HIV drug by.
    13/07/2017
    A (Bel­gian) reg­u­lat­or’s take on what in­form­a­tion to in­clude in re­cords...
    On 14 June 2017, the Com­mis­sion for the Pro­tec­tion of Pri­vacy (“Pri­vacy Com­mis­sion”), Bel­gi­um’s data pro­tec­tion agency, pub­lished a re­com­mend­a­tion on re­cords of pro­cessing activ­it­ies (FR/NL).   From 25 May 2018, or­gan­isa­tions pro­cessing per­son­al data with­in.
    10/07/2017
    GDPR ques­tion­naire: 50 ques­tions to identi­fy if your busi­ness is ready
    The Bav­ari­an Data Pro­tec­tion Au­thor­ity re­leased a GDPR im­ple­ment­a­tion ques­tion­naire 12 months be­fore the GDPR ap­plies to busi­nesses in Europe. On 25 May 2017, 12 months be­fore the Gen­er­al Data Pro­tec­tion Reg­u­la­tion (“GDPR”) ap­plies to busi­nesses through­out.
    15/06/2017
    More bad news for the European Unit­ary Pat­ent: The Fed­er­al Con­sti­tu­tion­al...
    The Bundestag and Bundes­rat have passed Ger­man laws on the European pat­ent with unit­ary ef­fect (the “European Unit­ary Pat­ent”) and the Unit­ary Pat­ent Court (the “UPC”). These laws, which still have to be signed by the Ger­man Pres­id­ent, should have been im­ple­men­ted.
    02/06/2017
    The fu­ture of the European Unit­ary Pat­ent – dark clouds on the ho­ri­zon?
    The art of proph­ecy is very dif­fi­cult, es­pe­cially with re­spect to the fu­ture. Pre­dict­ing the fu­ture of the European Unit­ary Pat­ent - and the UK's po­s­i­tion on it - is no ex­cep­tion. In March 2017, the UK In­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty Of­fice men­tioned that the im­ple­ment­a­tion.
    30/05/2017
    Ger­man Fed­er­al Court of Justice: “Free­dom of pan­or­ama” in­cludes non-sta­tion­ary...
    A re­cent Fed­er­al Court of Justice case tested the bound­ar­ies of the “free­dom of pan­or­ama” (in Ger­man, Pan­or­ama­freiheit) which per­mits the re­pro­duc­tion, dis­tri­bu­tion and pub­lic­a­tion of works pro­tec­ted by copy­right that are loc­ated per­man­ently in pub­lic ways.
    11/04/2017
    High­er Re­gion­al Court of Düs­sel­dorf ad­dresses FRAND terms in pat­ent...
    In the af­ter­math of the Court of Justice of the European Uni­on’s (the “CJEU”) de­cision in Hua­wei Tech­no­lo­gies v ZTE, the High­er Re­gion­al Court of Düs­sel­dorf has ruled on the ob­lig­a­tions of a stand­ard es­sen­tial pat­ent (“SEP”) own­er, in the tele­com­mu­nic­a­tion.
    06/04/2017
    Face­book users do not in­cur li­ab­il­ity if they only share con­tent
    Face­book users in Ger­many of­ten won­der wheth­er they in­cur li­ab­il­ity if they share un­law­ful con­tent pos­ted by third parties. In a re­cent de­cision re­gard­ing pri­vacy rights, the Dresden High­er Re­gion­al Court held that merely shar­ing a Face­book post does not in­cur.
    28/03/2017
    On the road to autonom­ous vehicles
    Con­nec­ted and autonom­ous vehicle (“CAV”) tech­no­lo­gies are set to have a pro­found so­cial and eco­nom­ic im­pact world­wide and con­tin­ue to ac­cu­mu­late a great weight of ex­pect­a­tion. Ad­voc­ates ar­gue that CAV tech­no­lo­gies will im­prove road safety, ease con­ges­tion and.
    20/03/2017
    UPC le­gis­la­tion moves one step for­ward in Ger­many
    On 10 March 2017, the Bundestag (Ger­man Par­lia­ment) un­an­im­ously passed two bills re­gard­ing the rat­i­fic­a­tion of the Uni­fied Pat­ent Court (“UPC”) Agree­ment (Ge­setz zu dem Übereinkom­men vom 19. Feb­ru­ar 2013 über ein Ein­heit­liches Pat­ent­gericht) and the re­lated.
    03/02/2017
    Does Trump’s Ex­ec­ut­ive Or­der threaten EU-US data trans­fers?
    On Janu­ary 25th 2017 US Pres­id­ent Don­ald J. Trump ad­op­ted an Ex­ec­ut­ive Or­der titled “En­han­cing Pub­lic Safety in the In­teri­or of the United States”. The Ex­ec­ut­ive Or­der mainly fo­cuses on strength­en­ing im­mig­ra­tion en­force­ment.
    11/01/2017
    Ger­man Court Con­firms ECJ Rul­ing on Li­ab­il­ity for Links
    On 18 Novem­ber 2016, the Ham­burg Re­gion­al Court is­sued the first Ger­man court de­cision to ex­pressly con­firm the prin­ciples of the European Court of Justice’s (“ECJ”) GS Me­dia rul­ing re­gard­ing li­ab­il­ity for posters of hy­per­links.
    05/01/2017
    Leg­al Com­mit­tee of the European Par­lia­ment ap­proves the Port­ab­il­ity...
    On 29 Novem­ber 2016, the Leg­al Com­mit­tee of the European Par­lia­ment ap­proved the reg­u­la­tion on “en­sur­ing the cross-bor­der port­ab­il­ity of on­line con­tent ser­vices” (the “Port­ab­il­ity Reg­u­la­tion”). So far, the Port­ab­il­ity Reg­u­la­tion is the only re­main­ing pro­vi­sion.