5.8.1 Prerequisites of enforcement
Decisions of German courts are not self-enforcing. Therefore, to enforce a decision, the favored party must become active in bringing about the necessary prerequisites. As a general rule, compulsory enforcement requires:
- an enforceable title (e.g., a judgment or court order; Sections 704 and 794 of the Code of Civil Procedure);
- (a title) provided with a clause (“enforceable execution copy”; Sections 724 and 725);171 and
- the service of the title on the debtor (Section 750).
Titles for decisions that are appealable and therefore not yet final and binding (res judicata) may be provisionally enforceable (Sections 708, 709). In patent infringement proceedings, judgments of lower regional courts are declared provisionally enforceable against the provision of security (e.g., by escrow or bank guarantee),172 the amount of which is determined in the operative part of the judgment on the basis of the corresponding value in suit (see Section 709).173 Decisions of higher regional courts, by contrast, are provisionally enforceable without the provision of security (Section 708(10)).