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19 February 2018
On January 9 2018 Barcelona Commercial Court Number 5 upheld the patent infringement action filed by Société des Produits Nestlé against Fast Eurocafé, SA on the basis of European Patent (EP) 1.472.156/Spanish Patent 2.260.626 (the '156 patent) and EP 1.808.382/Spanish Patent 2.407.963 (the '382 patent).
Nestlé is the holder of the '156 and '382 patents, which protect the capsules of the well-known Nescafé Dolce Gusto system.
Since May 2015 Fast Eurocafé has imported, offered and sold capsules for a beverage compatible with the Nescafé Dolce Gusto system.
In January 2016 Nestlé filed a patent infringement action with a preliminary injunction motion against Fast Eurocafé based on the abovementioned patents. At that time, two different versions of the capsules had been launched in the market by Fast Eurocafé:
Nestlé's main argument was that both the V1 and V2 capsules infringed the '156 and '382 patents, which protect:
"a capsule designed to be extracted by injection of a fluid under pressure in an extraction device, containing a substance for the preparation of a beverage, comprising a closed chamber containing the said substance and a means allowing he said capsule to be opened at the time of its use and for allowing the said beverage to flow out characterized in that opening is achieved by a relative engagement of the opening means with a retaining wall of the closed chamber and in that the relative engagement is performed under the effect of the rise in pressure of the fluid in the chamber."(1)
Fast Eurocafé opposed the appeal, arguing that:
In its defence, Fast Eurocafé interpreted the scope of protection of Claim 1 in both patents restrictively, holding that:
In its January 9 2018 decision, Barcelona Commercial Court Number 5 declared that claims must be interpreted according to their descriptions. Therefore:
Having determined the scope of protection of both patents, the court declared them valid. With regard to their infringement, after an extensive analysis of both parties' evidence, the court concluded that:
The decision has been appealed.
For further information on this topic please contact Ana-Laura Morales at Grau & Angulo by telephone (+34 93 202 34 56) or email (email@example.com).The Grau & Angulo website can be accessed at www.ga-ip.com.
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