Posted: July 7th, 2022
French Supreme Court embraces crossborder injunctions, by Willem Hoyng, HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
In a decision of 29 June 2022 in a case between the French company Hutchinson which owns an EP patent (EP 340) in among others France, the UK and Germany and a UK company, a South African company and two French companies the Supreme Court overturned a judgement
of the Court of Appeal of Paris which denied a crossborder injunction.
Facts of the case: Hutchinson is a French patentee owner of an European Patent in France and Germany and the UK. The South African company, Global Wheel, delivers products to the UK company Tyron Runflat Limited which in turn sells the product to two French companies Dal and L.A. VI. As the French companies also sold in the UK and Germany just like the UK company (the case dates from before Brexit) this is exactly the Solvay-Honeywell scenario and it can only be seen as a surprise (or unwillingness) that the Court of Appeal of Paris did not accept jurisdiction for the infringements in the UK and Germany.
With respect to the question of jurisdiction against the (non EU) South African company national French law is applicable (Art. 6 under 1 Bx Regulation). Art. 14 of the French Code in Civil Procedure states that the French court is competent if the plaintiff is French and there is a link with the forum in France (“un lien de rattachement de l’instance au territoir français”) or on the basis of the requirements of the good administration of justice. The Court of Appeal denied this but the Cour de Cassation ruled that (also) this was wrong.
This is a clear sign to the lower French courts that it should stop with finding all kind of excuses for refusing crossborder decisions with respect to patents.
The entire contribution can be read here.
The article ‘Cross-border decisions and the UPC, by Willem Hoyng’ (Festschrift Constant van Nispen) -as referred to in the contribution- can be read here.
The Hutchinson v. Tyron decision can be read here.