Posted: June 14th, 2017
Spanish Supreme Court, Civil Chamber, Judgment No. 263/2017 (May 3rd, 2017)
The patent at stake in the infringing proceedings relates to a can closure based on thermo-sealing laminated sheets for the preserving of foods. Claim 1 of the patent defines the invention as a “hermetically sealed can” (i.e., as a product patent). The defendant manufactures and distributes food metal containers equipped with similar laminated sheets for thermo-sealing. The alleged infringer opposed that the manufactured cans, as they left the factory, are merely open and empty containers. Since they are not sealed, these cans could not be said to incorporate all the elements of the invention. In fact, the acquiring companies are those who ultimately manipulate the cans, fill them and close them.
A complete summary of the case can be read here.
A copy of the judgment can be read here.
Headnote: Luis Fernández-Novoa, HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER