Patent Pledges
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Patent Pledges

Global Perspectives on Patent Law’s Private Ordering Frontier

Edited by Jorge L. Contreras and Meredith Jacob

Patent holders are increasingly making voluntary, public commitments to limit the enforcement and other exploitation of their patents. The best-known form of patent pledge is the so-called FRAND commitment, in which a patent holder commits to license patents to manufacturers of standardized products on terms that are “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory.” Patent pledges have also been appearing in fields well beyond technical standard-setting, including open source software, green technology and the biosciences. This book explores the motivations, legal characteristics and policy goals of these increasingly popular private ordering tools.
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Chapter 7: Voluntary patent pledges: enforcement in Germany

Catharina Maracke and Axel Metzger

Abstract

At first glance, voluntary patent pledges might seem to be a U.S. phenomenon. Most pledges are published and used by U.S.-based companies. Legal research has primarily focused on a U.S. perspective. However, since Germany has turned out to be the favored battleground for patent litigation in Europe, the question whether voluntary patent pledges are legally binding and enforceable under German law will become relevant.

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