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Basic Holdings ULC v. Afire NL-BE en Afire Nederland and Afire SARL, Court of Appeal The Hague, The Netherlands, 12 September 2023, Case no. ECLI:NL:GHDHA:2023:1812

Basic holds European patent EP 2 029 941 B1 relating to artificial fireplaces. Basic states that Afire et al. infringe this patent and therefore requests a declaratory judgment to that effect as well as an injunction, combined with various subsidiary claims. Afire et al. disputes that it infringes Basic’s patent with its fireplaces and seeks to invalidate the patent should their non infringement arguments fail.

In first instance, the Court rejected Basic’s claims because, in summary, the scope of protection of the patent, given the applicable Dutch translation, was determined to be limited to an artificial fireplace with multiple openings in the bed, while the fireplaces of Afire et al. have only one opening.

In this judgment, the Court of Appeal arrives at a different interpretation of Basic’s patent and establishes that fireplaces with only one opening also fall within the scope of protection of the patent. The Court of Appeal further decides that the patent is valid and infringed by that Afire et al. Basic’s claims are therefore (largely) allowed and Afire et al.’s claim is rejected.

A copy of the judgment (in Dutch) can be read here.