Case Study:
International Coordination of Proceedings

Initial situation

A competitor of one of our clients introduced a new cleaning system at the most important trade fair internationally for cleaning products held annually in Amsterdam. This cleaning system, however, infringed the European patent of our client that had also been validated in the Netherlands (NL).

Action taken

After a successful provisional injunction and seizure of the patent-infringing products from the competitor’s exhibition stand, the HOFFMANN EITLE team also coordinated the subsequent patent litigation in NL and defended the German part of the European patent in a German nullity action. Parallel to this, settlement negotiations were undertaken that were stalled, however, until the validity of the seizure at the trade fair as well as the patent infringement were finally confirmed in the NL infringement proceedings. Only after the legal disputes in NL were successfully concluded could a further international settlement be negotiated, including the withdrawal of the nullity action in Germany.

Outcome

The immediate and aggressive action taken at the trade fair drew a great deal of attention among this sector, which was why the competitor demanded in the Dutch patent-infringement proceedings that our client must inform all registered visitors to the trade fair individually should the court decide that the seizure of the goods had not been justified. However, the proceedings also showed that perseverance pays off, and in the end our client was able to use the successful outcome in the Netherlands as leverage for settlement negotiations worldwide.

Experts responsible for the project

Peter Schweighart

Peter Schweighart von HOFFMANN EITLE

Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering), German and European Patent Attorney

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Frank van Bouwelen

Frank van Bouwelen von HOFFMANN EITLE

Ph.D., M.Sc. (Material Science), Dutch and European Patent Attorney
 

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