The law firm advises and represents clients with respect to compulsory licenses under German and EU law. This includes both the extrajudicial assertion and negotiation of coveted licenses as well as their enforcement in court in Germany.
A compulsory license in the field of intellectual property is the involuntary grant of permission to use a protected right. The compulsory licensee has obtained the permission on the basis of public law or civil law regulations – and not on the basis of the free willingness to negotiate on the part of the IP right holder.
The subject of the compulsory license may be, in particular, patent rights and copyrights. In a broader sense, a compulsory license may also exist if access to or use of other (technical) infrastructures must be granted. This is also referred to as access rights. Compulsory licenses are becoming increasingly important in relation to rights of access and use of data as well as platforms and other digital infrastructures.
In civil law, the compulsory license can arise directly from the provisions of the respective property right, such as the Patent Act or the Copyright Act. Or indirectly, in particular from antitrust law.
On the one hand, legal support is necessary when asserting a claim for the grant of a compulsory license in court; depending on the basis of the claim, the lawyer will then appear either before the German Federal Patent Court or the relevant ordinary court. On the other hand, the support of a lawyer is advisable in corresponding negotiations on the concrete conclusion of a contract on reasonable terms.