Recent developments in European cross-border patent litigation

In a patent litigation context, the term “crossborder”typically refers to claims relating topatent infringement in more than onejurisdiction: either a patent owner seeks aninjunction against an alleged infringer in morethan one country or the alleged infringerseeks a declaration of non-infringement inmore than one country. Because patentrights are territorial rights that cover only asingle member state, such a claim impliesthat a national court should examineinfringement not only of the “local” nationalpatent, but also of a foreign patent. Thisquestion has been highly controversial overthe past 20 years and was answered only ayear and a half ago by the European Court ofJustice (ECJ) in two landmark decisions.

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