Unilever N.V. v. Procter & Gamble Nederland B.V., Procter & Gamble Distribution Company (Europe) BVBA, Procter & Gamble International Operations SA, The Procter & Gamble Company, Preliminary Injunction Judge of the District Court of The Hague, The Netherlands, 19 December 2013 Case Number KG ZA 13-1038, with thanks to Richard Ebbink, Ruprecht Hermans and Jan Pot, Brinkhof, for sending in a translation of the judgment in English
Unilever holds the Dutch part of EP1361172 for a 'water soluble package', invoking the priority date of GB 9906175, 17 March 1999. The patent more specifically discloses a water soluble package containing a laundry detergent for release on dissolution.
P&G US, Henkel AG & Co and Reckit Benckiser (UK) filed opposition against the patent with the EPO in and as a result, the patent was limited by deleting the words 'or gel' from claim 1 in the section describing the detergent 'being a liquid or gel'. Also, the process of making the water soluble package was deleted from the description, while a section on the shape of the package was added.