Posted: March 23rd, 2021
On 14 April 2020, the Court of Appeal of Milan (‘CoA’) delivered its decision (n. 898/2020) in a patent case between S.I.SV.EL. SpA (‘Sisvel’ or the ‘Appellant’) and BRAU VERWALTUNGSGESELLSCHAFT mbH (‘Brau’ or the ‘Appellant’) against TOSHIBA EUROPE GmbH (‘Toshiba’)
The patent at issue in this case is the Italian fraction of Brau’s patent n. EP 595790 (the ‘Patent’), which protects, inter alia, a method of transmitting additional digital information in one line of a television signal (the so-called ‘WSS Technology’). The Patent expired on 9 April 2012, and was licensed by Brau to Sisvel.
In addition to contesting the findings of the Court of First Instance of Milan (the ‘CoFI’) that the Patent was valid only in a limited form and not infringed, the Appellants focused their arguments on errors supposedly committed by the CoFI in relation to the burden of proof and right of defence in patent matters and, in particular, how these doctrines apply during the technical phase of the proceedings.
This article will first summarize the findings of the Court in the First Instance, before proceeding to a description of the Appellants’ grounds of appeal and closing with an analysis of the findings of the CoA, which concluded that (i) the CoFI correctly interpreted the burden of proof pursuant to art. 67 of the Italian Industrial Property Code (‘IPC’), and (ii) there was no violation of the right of defence or the right to participate in an adversarial procedure.
Headnote and summary: Claudia Scapicchio, Valentina Galli, and Laura Di Tecco, Studio Legale Jacobacci