Plaintiff v. Arca Printersupplies BV, Innova Art Ltd. and GMC Marketing Ltd., District Court The Hague, The Netherlands, 4 February 2014, case number C/09/466982/HA ZA 14-648
Plaintiff designed the Roll Panel: a panel with glue on which a picture can be attached. After attaching the picture, the picture and the panel on which it is glued can be folded using the previously applied fold lined to create a fitted frame.
In 2008, Arca and Innova showed interest in the Roll Panel and met with plaintiff to come to a possible collaboration. Plaintiff claims that it was clear to all parties that they had the obligation to keep the discussed design confidential.
In 2009, after the collaboration did not work out, the Applicant found out that Arca and Innova offered a product identical to the Roll Panel on their website: the "Jet Master". In addition, GMC had filed 11 patent applications (e.g. EP 2456336 and WO 2011010085).
In the proceedings, Plaintiff claims 8 actions against Arca, Innova and/or GMC relating to tort and the alleged infringement of the confidentiality agreement. Also, Plaintiff claims 5 actions against GMC concerning the patents.
As Arca is domiciled in the Netherlands while Innova and GMC are domiciled in the UK, the question arose whether, in accordance with article 6 Regulation (EC) 44/2001, the claims are so closely connected that it is expedient to hear and determine them together to avoid the risk of irreconcilable judgments.