Skip to main content

“Audio Signal Coding” (Audiosignalcodierung)

Decision of the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) 3 February 2015 – Case No. X ZR 69/13

  1. a)

    A means does not relate to an essential element of the invention within the meaning of Sec. 10(1) of the Patent Act merely because it is used to implement a process stage that precedes the stages specified in the patent claim of a process patent. This also applies if the preceding step is necessary in order to be able to execute the steps specified in the patent claim and if the means, by virtue of its concrete configuration, can only be used for this purpose.

  2. b)

    A means used to carry out a specific process step in the transmission of an audio signal does not relate to an essential element of the invention if the patent, while admittedly protecting a transmission method, only further specifies other steps of this process in the patent claim and if the configuration of the process step to which the means refers is of no significance for the implementation of the invention.

  3. c)

    A person who supplies a means that relates to an essential element of the invention to a third party abroad who with his knowledge and intent supplies it for the exploitation of the invention in Germany causes the supply of the means within the scope of application of the Patent Act.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Author information


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Patent Act, Sec. 10(1). “Audio Signal Coding” (Audiosignalcodierung). IIC 47, 88–98 (2016).

Download citation


  • Essential element of an invention
  • Process patent
  • Transmission of an audio signal