Confiscation at IFA (International Radio Show) in Berlin was unlawful

Images of a large-scale operation of the Office of the Berlin District Attorney at the International Radio Show (August 29 - September 03) caused a sensation beyond the German borders. No wonder, products on over 60 booths were confiscated due to "intentional patent infringement" by a massive contingent of gun-toting customs officials. On the day of the operation, German law office Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek filed an immediate appeal at the Berlin-Tiergarten Local Court.

While the Local Court did not want to revise its decision, now the Berlin District Court has conceded to the attorneys: The confiscation was unlawful (decision of September 18, 2008, file no. 523 Qs 112/08). The reason is the imprecise so-called "confiscation ruling." The participating customs officials simply did not know what they should and what they should not seize on the individual booths, resulting in the fact that all products were confiscated, thus also such products, with which a patent infringement did not technically come into question.

The judge agreed with the Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek attorneys that such an imprecise ruling, which left the customs officials such a large scope for judgment evaluation, would be unlawful. Furthermore, the District Court decided that the question as to whether the products are a patent infringement, could only be judged by an expert.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek attorneys involved in the proceeding:

  • Dr. Matthias Kühn, Berlin (Local preservation of evidence)
  • Melanie Künzel, LL.M., Düsseldorf (Patent Law, Filing the appeal)
  • Zhenzhou Ma, Düsseldorf (Chinese Desk)
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