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NL – Koninklijke Douwe Egberts v. Belmoca / Appeal

31 Aug 2023

Koninklijke Douwe Egberts B.V v. Belmoca BVBA, Court of Appeal The Hague, The Netherlands, 25 July 2023, Case No. ECLI:NL:GHDHA:2023:1641

Koninklijke Douwe Egberts (‘KDE’) holds EP 521 and EP 333 relating to beverage production systems. KDE states that Belmoca’s Belmio coffee capsules indirectly infringe on these patents. This has led to KDE seeking an injunction and additional remedies. In first instance (see here), KDE’s claims were based solely on EP 521, but on appeal, KDE also asserts EP 333.

Belmoca asserts that the extension of the basis of claim by KDE is contrary to the principles of due process. Also, Belmoca denies the patent infringement allegations and, conditionally, seeks declarations of non-infringement. In a subsidiary claim, Belmoca states that the patents are invalid and -conditionally- requests to invalidate them.

In first instance, the Court rejected KDE’s claims in the main proceedings and awarded the declaration of non-infringement of patent EP 521 claimed by Belmoca in the counterclaim.

The Court of Appeal in this judgment rules that extending the basis of KDE’s claims with EP 333 is indeed contrary to the principles of due process. The Court of Appeal therefore refuses this extension. The Court of Appeal further rules, as did the Court in first instance, that Belmoca does not infringe patent EP 521. The Court of Appeal therefore upholds the judgment of the Court in first instance and rejects KDE’s claims insofar as they differ from the claims made in first instance. As a result, the conditions imposed by Belmoca on appeal to its subsidiary claims have not been met, so that the Court of Appeal does not need to assess them.

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