FX Prevent B.V. v. Wagner Group GmbH, District Court The Hague, The Netherlands, 8 May 2013, Case No. HA ZA 12-857, with thanks to Carreen Shannon and Charlotte de Boer, Deterink, for sending in the case and a head note in English
Wagner is the holder of a European patent relating to an inerting method for preventing and extinguishing fires in enclosed spaces. After a previous judgment of the District Court The Hague that FX Prevent had infringed Wagner’s patent, FX Prevent appealed that decision (which appeal is still pending) and separately initiated invalidity proceedings before the District Court, arguing that Wagner’s patent was invalid due to lack of novelty and inventive step.
As part of its statement of defence Wagner filed an auxiliary request. Also the amended claims were, however, found to be invalid by the court due to lack of inventive step. The court applied the problem-solution approach and held that if the solution to the posed problem did not already form part of his common general knowledge, the skilled man would have in any event learned that solution from a wide range of prior art documents. Wagner was ordered to pay the full costs of the proceedings.
Read the decision (in Dutch) here.