German police raids against patent breaches at CeBit fair
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On 6 March 2008, the German authorities raided 51 exhibitor stands at CeBit,
the German information technology fair, in a search for goods suspected of
The Hanover police stated that the reason for this action in which about 180
officials from the police, customs and prosecutor offices took part, was
“criminal complaints by the holders of patent rights in the run-up to
CeBit,” that have increased during years.
The officials took away a number of electronic goods and documents including
cell-phones, flat-screen monitors, navigation devices, and digital picture
frames. Out of the 51 raided booths, 24 were from China, 15 were from Taiwan
or Hong Kong, nine were from Germany, and the rest from Poland, the
Netherlands, and Korea. Most of patents in questions were related to devices
that had MP3, MP4, or digital audio and video functions, DVD players and
copiers and blank CDs and DVDs.
The action is also probably due to the Italian firm Sisvel, which pursues
breaches of audio compression patents and which has filed complaints in
Hanover after having monitored the fair for some years. “We help patent
proprietors to obtain royalties for their intellectual property,” said
Giustino de Sanctis, chief executive of Audio MPEG of the US Sisvel unit.
During the raid, twenty people were ordered to pay a security deposit 1 000
or 500 euros each and, under the German law, those found guilty will face
fines or prison up to five years.
Police raid 51 CeBIT stands over suspected piracy (6.03.2008)
Patent police raid booths at CeBit trade show (6.03.2008)
German police: 51 accused of product piracy at CeBIT (6.30.2008)