Topkip v. Storteboom, District Court The Hague, The Netherlands, 2 April 2014, Case no.: C/09/443124 HA ZA 13-571
Topkip develops and trades in poultry slaughter lines. Topkip owns European Patent EP 1 280 426 for a ‘Method for cooling slaughtered poultry’ (the “Patent”). Compared to the prior art, the Patent aims to improve cooling of slaughtered poultry, a.o. resulting in improved colour, weight preservation, a longer shelf-life and a decrease of the germ value. Storteboom and 2 Sisters exploit poultry slaughterhouses. An 'ImmersionChill' cooling line supplied by Marel Stork is used in one of the slaughterhouses. Marel Stork offers the ImmersionChill in all countries which the Patent [BW1] was granted for. Topkip believed that the defendants (‘Storteboom et al.’), by using the ImmersionChill, infringe the Patent. Storteboom et al. put forward a reasoned defence and petitioned the District Court to annul the Patent.