e-Traction Europe B.V. v. N.V. Nederlandsch Octrooibureau, preliminary injunction proceedings, District Court The Hague, 22 December 2009, Docket No. 351276 / KG ZA 09-1500
Dispute in the aftermath of a failed cooperation, based on an Asset Purchase Agreement ('APA'). Patent attorney N.V. Nederlandsch Octrooibureau ('NOB') changed the name in which two European patent applications were registered, from e-Traction to Freerider, as instructed by Freerider. e-Traction files for a preliminary injunction to prevent NOB from making further changes to the names in which the patents are registered.
The judge takes the (disputed) validity of the APA as a starting point and states that it is in practice prima facie presumed that the one mentioned as 'applicant' on a patent application also is entitled to the patent application. Since the APA leaves the 'ownership' with respect to the patents at e-Traction, Freerider was not authorized to change the name in which the applications were registered, even though such name change does not imply transfer of ownership. In view of the APA Freerider did not have the authority to change the name of the 'applicant'.
NOB should have investigated further, before changing the name and failed to exercise due care. The preliminary injunction against NOB was granted.
Read the judgment (in Dutch) here.