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Hanwa Solutions Corporation v. LONGHi (Netherlands) Trading B.V., summary proceedings, District Court Rotterdam, 28 March 2023, Case no. ECLI:NL:RBROT:2023:2715

Access to seized evidentiary materials denied.

In earlier summary judgments (here and appeal here) Hanwa succesfully obtained a cross border injunction against LONGi forbidding LONGi to infringe Hanwa’s patents, or to act unlawfully by being involved with such infringement.

Hanwha alleges that LONGHi continues to infringe its patent and/or acts in breach of the earlier judgments. It therefore conducted a saisie contrefaçon in France and later obtained leave to seize evidence under logistics service providers of LONGi NL in the Netherlands. Hanwa now seeks to obtain access to the results of the latter seizure. Such access is denied.

The Judge in summary proceedings states that only on the basis of the invoices obtained with the French saisie contrefaçon, it cannot be assumed that LONGi NL has infringed the patent and thus violated the legal prohibitions. The Judge rules that it appears that it can be deduced from the official reports of the bailiff that LONGi NL has violated the orders in the judgments. However, in order to obtain complete clarity, the bailiff must be heard as a witness. The Judge rules that this is not compatible with the nature of summary proceedings. Also, in its claim, Hanwha did not identify specifically enough the documents it wishes to inspect.

In addition, the Judge rules that Hanwa’s request appears to be lacking urgency. After all, LONGi NL has lodged an appeal in cassation against the appeal judgment and, in the various pending proceedings between the parties, is conducting, among other things, a non-infringement defence as well as an invalidity defence. Hanwha has not explained why it cannot await the outcome of, at least, the cassation proceedings.

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