Lankhorst Pure Composites B.V. v. Samsonite Europe N.V., Samsonite IP Holdings SARL & Samsonite Corporation, District Court The Hague, the Nethrlands, 16 March 2011, Case No. 375714 / HA ZA 10-3322
Jurisdictional dispute in a case where Lankhorst claims that it is entitled to several patent applications filed by Samsonite IP Holdings and Samsonite Corporation. Lankhorst and Samsonite Europe had cooperated in the development of suitcase parts. Lankhorst stated that Samsonite Europe had violated a confidentiality clause in the agreement between the parties by having Samsonite IP Holdings and Samsonite Corporation file patent applications for subject matter that would have been derived from Lankhorst.
The Court of The Hague declared itself incompetent with respect to Samsonite IP Holdings. Samsonite IP Holdings was based in Luxembourg and according to Article 2 of the Protocol on Recognition the Court of Luxembourg had jurisdiction. Samsonite IP Holdings was moreover held not to be bound to the choice of forum in the agreement between Lankhorst and Samsonite Europe. According to Lankhorst, this should have been the case as Samsonite IP Holdings would have acted as front man for filing patent applications while it would have known that the subject matter thereof had been derived from Lankhorst. Although this, according to the Court, could constitute an unlawful act, it could not be a ground to extend the scope of the agreement to also include Samsonite IP Holdings. Article 6(1) EEX was held not to apply as none of the defendants were based in The Netherlands. Moreover, the Protocol on Recognition was held to have precedence over the EEX-Regulation, which was also the reason why Article 5(3) EEX missed applicability, according to the Court.
Read the judgment (in Dutch) here.
Head note: Geert Theuws