EPLAW PATENT BLOG

NL – Ex parte order based on misleading information

Posted: March 30th, 2010

Franz Grimme Landmaschinenfabrik GmbH & Co, KG v. Steenvoorden Constructie B.V. and F.R.Steenvoorden Industrial Equipment B.V., ex parte order of the District Court The Hague, The Netherlands, 15 January 2010, Case No. KG RK 10-0055

Franz Grimme owns EP 730 399 (EP 399) for a device for separating potatoes from other materials such as soil, clods, stones, herbage, etc., particularly for potato harvesting machines. Steenvoorden offers such a machine, the “Evolution Separator” on its website. The machines are obtained from Scotts in the UK, a former distributor of Franz Grimme which has started to produce its own machines. Franz Grimme has obtained a verdict from the High Court of Justice (Patents Court) against Scotts, in which Scotts was found to have directly and indirectly infringed the British part of EP 399 with the Evolution Separator (verdict of November 3, 2009, Case No: HC08 C 00663).

Despite this, Steenvoorden claims on its website that Scotts won the proceedings in the UK, and continues to offer and sell the machines in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and possibly other countries. The court states that the misrepresentation on Steenvoorden’s website hampers Grimme in the exercise of its patent rights and therefore grants an ex parte order to remove the misrepresentation from the Steenvoorden website. The court does not grant a cross border order, since the website is directed to a Dutch audience and in the Dutch language.

Read the decision (in Dutch) here.

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