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NL – Schnell v. Schilt Engineering / Appeal

26 Mar 2014

Schnell S.P.A. v. Schilt Engineering B.V.and Schilt Engineering Export B.v., Court of Appeal The Hague, the Netherlands, 4 March 2014, Case No. 200.116.236/01, with thanks to Martin Luten, Arnold+Siedsma, for sending in the case and a summary in English 

the case concerns a judgement in appeal following the decision in first instance (which may be read here) wherein was decided that Schilt did not infringe, not by way of literal or equivalent infringement, two European patents in the name of Schnell. After the issuance of this decision, one of the patents in suit was revoked before the EPO due to successful intervention (decision of the Board of Appeal can be found here). 

The court of appeal confirms that the remaining European patent of Schnell is not literally infringed by Schilt. According to this judgement, the supporting arms as used in the devices of Schilt which rotate in a substantial horizontal plane and only having a minor vertical component when rotating, do not qualify as the claimed ‘transfer device being rotatable between a substantially raised working position and a lowered disengagement position’. 

The devices of Schilt were furthermore not considered to infringe by way of equivalence since – inter alia – the goal of the invention of the patent in suit is not achieved by these substantially horizontally rotating supporting arms. 

It is further worth noting that the court of appeal did not award a compensation for the costs incurred by Schilt for intervening, as these costs are considered not to be linked to the current court proceedings.

Read the decision (in Dutch) here