English High Court Considers Co-existence Provisions Under German and English Law

May 26, 2016

In two recent IP decisions in the English High Court, the interpretation of a settlement agreement and a co-existence agreement have been carefully considered. In DKH Retail and Others v SRG Apparel Plc and Others, English law was applied to the interpretation of a settlement agreement whereas in Merck KGaA v Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp and Others German law applied. The results highlight the importance of choice of law. The starting point for both English and German law is the actual language used, but in England this is commonly also the end point whereas under German law, the underlying and unwritten intentions of the parties are given greater weight.

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