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“Belt Tensioner” (Gurtstraffer)

Decision of the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) 24 April 2018 – Case No. X ZR 50/16

  1. 1.

    An indication of purpose or function of the claimed device contained in a patent claim regularly expresses the notion that the device must be objectively fit for the indicated purpose or function. The patent claim thus remains a product claim directed to a device with which the purposes or functions named can be realised.

  2. 2.

    It is not sufficient for a finding of patentability that, from the perspective of the prior art, the technical solution proposed by the patent in suit has disadvantages or is difficult to realise if the solution proposed by the inventor accepts these disadvantages or difficulties as inevitable (Confirmation of Federal Supreme Court, decision of 4 June 1996 – X ZR 49/94, BGHZ 133, 57 – Rauchgasklappe).

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Translated by Allison Felmy.

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Patent Act, Sec. 14. “Belt Tensioner” (Gurtstraffer). IIC 50, 888–895 (2019).

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  • Novelty
  • Inventive step
  • Function of an invention
  • Carrying out of a patent by a skilled person
  • Obviousness in case of alternative solutions
  • Practicability of the teaching of a patent