A few days ago, the German Bundespatentgericht ruled on the validity of Document Security Systems' EP(DE) patent EP0455750. The European Central Bank had applied to the court for the patent to be revoked, similarly to their attack on the EP(UK) equivalent earlier this year, which proved successful (see the IPKat's comments here).
According to DSS (from their own press release),
"• The German court dismissed the European Central Bank’s (ECB) claim to invalidate the Patent in Germany, and ordered the ECB to bear responsibility for court costs. As a result of this decision, DSS will be able to proceed with the infringement phase of its lawsuit against the ECB, despite any decisions to the contrary regarding validity of the Patent in other national courts. On August 1, 2005, DSS filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the European Court of First Instance (CFI) against the ECB alleging that the Euro banknotes produced by the ECB infringe the Patent. On October 20, 2005, the ECB challenged the venue of the lawsuit to which DSS formally responded to the court in December 2005. The parties are awaiting the ruling from the CFI on venue. Management anticipates seeking damages in the CFI case in excess of $227 million, although it should be noted that the applicable court would determine the damages that DSS would be entitled to if DSS is successful in its action.
• As a result of the German decision, DSS can now file infringement lawsuits in Germany against security printers that produce the Euro banknotes printed in Germany or used in Germany. Management believes that approximately 28% of Euro banknotes are either printed in Germany or used in Germany, which would enable DSS to seek an injunction and damages in excess of $63 million in such lawsuits against the applicable security printers.
• This ruling also enables DSS to pursue infringement claims of the Patent against security printers and software developers of the various, non-Euro banknotes printed not only in Germany, but also those banknotes printed in other European countries that enter Germany. Management believes that there are more than 75 currencies that are either printed or used in Germany that infringe upon the Patent.
• The German Court’s decision will be distributed to the French Patent Court, which has asked to review the German decision prior to issuing its decision on patent validity in France, which is anticipated on September 12, 2007.
• DSS’ attorneys will utilize portions of the German decision, which supports its appeal of the ruling of the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, Patents Court in London, England, which found the Patent to be invalid in the United Kingdom. Oral arguments for the U.K. appeal are expected to be heard in February of 2008."
The German decision is available here. Unfortunately, the IPKat can't directly confirm the facts, as his German isn't really up to understanding the judgment. Can any of his readers help out?