German patent courts

Munich Regional Court creates third patent chamber

Munich Regional Court is expanding its capacities for patent disputes. A new civil chamber will also hear patent infringement cases. This is the court's response to the steady increase in patent lawsuits in recent years.

28 June 2021 by Konstanze Richter

InterDigital, Xiaomi Munich Regional Court's new civil chamber will be headed by Georg Werner and will also hear patent cases. ©dudlajzov/ADOBE STOCK

Today, Munich Regional Court president Andrea Schmidt announced a new civil chamber will begin work on 16 August 2021. Half of cases heard by this 44th chamber will be patent infringement suits. This relieves pressure on the established 7th and 21st patent litigation chambers.

Georg Werner will chair the new civil chamber. He brings with him a great deal of experience in technically complex patent disputes. For example, he sat on the bench in the proceedings between British American Tobacco and Philip Morris concerning e-cigarettes and the proceedings between Wago and Molex concerning LED technology.

Georg Werner, Regional Court Munich

Georg Werner ©Allan R. Tobis

While there is a decline in case numbers at other German regional courts, newly filed patent lawsuits at Munich Regional Court have been increasing for years. In 2020, the Bavarian court counted a total of 202 new lawsuits, about 10% more than in the previous year.

This means that for the second year in a row it overtakes Mannheim. The latter’s two patent chambers saw a decline of almost 22% in the same period, compared to 2019.

Munich Regional Court popular for SEPs

Munich has established itself as a go-to court, particularly for complex SEP proceedings. For example, it was one of the three courts where Nokia and Daimler conducted their dispute over mobile patents for connected cars technology until the parties recently settled on licences.

The regional court was recently in the spotlight because of the anti-suit injunction (ASI) battle between Interdigital and Xiaomi and IP Bridge and Huawei. The chairman of the new civil chamber, Georg Werner, also played a role in this decision.

Until now, only Düsseldorf Regional Court has three patent chambers with the civil chambers 4a, 4b and 4c. Mannheim Regional Court has two patent chambers.

Read a detailed analysis of the development of patent case numbers in Germany and Europe in next week’s JUVE Patent newsletter.