by Mike Masnick
Fri, Mar 7th 2008 3:01pm
A somewhat bizarre situation happened in Germany earlier this week, where various demonstrators at the popular CeBit trade show had their booths raided by German police, confiscating various gadgets for infringing on patents. Patent law is a bit different in Germany, allowing this type of seizure, but I can't understand what sort of practical reason there could be for allowing such a thing. No one was directly selling these products, just demonstrating them. Second, confiscating the products ruins the tradeshow appearance for these companies without them having a chance to defend themselves against the charges of infringement. I could understand preventing the sale of products after it's proven in a trial that infringement occurred, but to simply confiscate display gadgets without a trial seems counterproductive. All it's really going to do is convince consumer electronics companies not to go to German trade shows any more, and focus on showing off new innovations in other countries.
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