- TFEU; costs in intellectual property claims; patent lawyer costs (NovaText v The University of Heidelberg)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
IP analysis: This is a referral from the Federal Court of Justice of Germany (the Bundesgerichtshof), and relates to an application from NovaText seeking an annulment of the order for payment of The University of Heidelberg (TUH)’s costs in a EU trade mark infringement claim. In particular, this was in relation to the costs of an additional patent attorney assisting in the case, and whether this was considered necessary, or proportionate to the purpose. In saying that it is the role of the Court of Justice to provide the national court with an answer to the questions referred which ‘will be of use to it and enable it to determine the case before it’, the Court of Justice sought to reformulate the question referred, and did so in the following terms: ‘whether Articles 3 and 14 of Directive 2004/48 must be interpreted as precluding national legislation or an interpretation thereof which does not allow the court before which a procedure falling within that directive has been brought to take due account, in each case brought before it, of the specific characteristics of that case for the purpose of assessing whether the legal costs incurred by the successful party are reasonable and proportionate’. Written by Lakmal Walawage, senior associate at JMW Solicitors LLP.
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