Posted: December 7th, 2018
Ancientgrain B.V. v. Bakels Senior N.V., District Court The Hague, The Netherlands, 21 November 2018, Case No. ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2018:13960
Two Dutch patents of Ancientgrain relating to processed ‘Teff-grain’ (Eragrostis grain) lack inventive step and are thus not infringed by Bakels.
A message sent to potential Teff growers (the ‘Teff-document’) before the application date of the patents did not sufficiently state that the contents were to be kept confidential. A general confidentiality statement stating that the technical and financial information therein should be kept confidential is insufficient. The presentation of the Teff-document did not convey it should be kept confidential. Also, readers could derive from the statement in said document that patents were applied for that confidentiality was no longer necessary.
The Court concludes that the patents are not inventive in light of the Teff- document.
A copy of the decision (in Dutch) can be read here.