EPLAW PATENT BLOG

NL – Gebr. Ezendam v. Lommers-Van Eijken Tuinbouwmachines

Posted: April 2nd, 2010

Ezendam Vastgoedmaatschappij Gebr. Ezendam B.V. v. Lommers-Van Eijken Tuinbouwmachines B.V., District Court The Hague, The Netherlands, 31 March 2010, Case No. 2009/2379

The District Court of the Hague ruled that Dutch part of Ezendam’s  European patent on the use of a cutting cylinder unit, cutting device with cutting cylinder unit for shaping a plant, vehicle provided with a cutting device of this type and use of a cutting device of this type is novel and involves an inventive step.

The novelty attack of the defendant was based on three older patent documents which according to the court did not directly and unambiguously disclose all the features of the invoked claims.  The defendant furthermore argued that the European patent of Ezendam lacked an inventive step based on the combination of a number of prior art publications, however, failed to substantiate how the man skilled in the art was triggered to combine these publications. Therefore the court ruled that the inventive step argument of the defendant was clearly tainted by hindsight.

As to infringement the court dismissed defendant’s arguments that its cutting device i) lacked  a curvature since it has a cutting edge with six separate straight lines, ii) does not cut, but chips, and iii) has no cutting cylinder as mentioned in the claims.

Read the decision (in Dutch) here.

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