Can a Different Judge overrule a Colleague in the Same Court?

Yes. Actually that’s possible, at least in Germany, correction, at least in Berlin, oops, at least in the “Tiergarten” Municipal Court in Berlin. A tiergarten (“zoo”) it is. We earlier wrote about Sisvel’s attempts to bring Patent Wild West practices into the German Courts. It gets funnier. What happened after Judge Ziegler of the Berlin “Tiergarten” Court declared the action of the Public Prosecutor in the SanDisk seizure case (IFA, Berlin) “illegal”? The day Judge Ziegler was absent from the court, the Public Prosecutor – unhappy about him losing his case – filed a new application for stopping the release of the SanDisk mp3 players, before another judge at the same court, Judge Buckow and got what he wanted. He argued before the new judge that the goods need to be examined before a further decision can be taken. He succeeded in convincing the second Judge – without informing SanDisk lawyers (and I am sure without informing Judge Ziegler either) that the goods should be kept until they have been examined before a decision about a seizure shall be made. Be aware: this was not an appeal court but the same Municipal court, just a different judge. Click here for the second judgement. 

The request (as well as the second one, surely initiated by Sisvel who must have convinced the Public Prosecutor that patent law was a whole lot more fun than criminal law) makes a mockery of law and more resembles a Bunko game than a legitimate legal process. How can a one and the same court rule the opposite way on the same set of facts within two days? And since when does Sisvel need “to examine” where in civil court they consistently take the position that they do not need to examine mp3 players (from whoever) as all mp3 players on the EU market need to use an industry standard and the patent happen to be “essential patents” under that same standard, so everyone must use the patents by the mere fact that they are labeled “mp3”?

We have sufficient belief in the German legal system that someone will stand up and stop this nonsensical use of the criminal system for patent troll’s purposes.