Posted: March 4th, 2020
File Inspection DE – German Federal Supreme Court, judgment dated 14 January 2020, case no. X ZR 33/19
On 14 January 2020, the German Federal Supreme Court rendered an important decision related to the protection of trade secrets in German Patent Infringement Proceedings. The court had to decide whether the procedural right of file inspection can be controlled by the disclosing party on the basis of “reservations” (i.e., declarations that certain submissions/documents of the court file are only to be disclosed by the court to specific individuals provided that they sign a confidentiality agreement).
In a nutshell, such reservations are not acceptable under German procedural law. Thus, the protection of trade secrets in German Patent Infringement Proceedings remains a tricky thing. The most practical solution to this dilemma will be detailed below, whereby also such solution does not mitigate all risks.
A copy of the decision (in German) can be read here.
The entire summary (in English) can be read here.
Summary: Tobias Wuttke Meissner Bolte