The market for laminate flooring is large and competitive. In this competition, patents play an important role. For example, certain profiles of locking elements and certain pipe-laying procedures are protected.
Akzenta Paneele + Profile GmbH, part of Classen Group, attempted, by means of a patent infringement complaint against two companies of EGGER Group, to ensure that certain laminate flooring panels may no longer be produced and placed on the market in Germany. The complaint was based on a patent, which places a certain procedure for the laying of laminate flooring under protection (EP 1 200 690).
The EGGER companies were represented and defended by Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek. The lawyers succeeded in convincing Düsseldorf Regional Court that the EGGER products feature a special profile and are laid in a manner which does not infringe upon the patent.
Düsseldorf Regional Court thus dismissed the complaint in full on June 15, 2009. Since the plaintiff has decided to accept the judgment and has made no appeal of the court's decision, the judgment has in the meantime become final.
The action filed by Fritz Egger GmbH & Co. for a declaration of nullity against the disputed patent is at present still pending with the Federal Patent Court. A hearing has not yet been set.
"The panels were laid in the court corridor before the judges' eyes, which rapidly and unequivocally clarified the matter. The judgment was therefore logical," comments Dr. Anton Horn, Partner at Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek in Düsseldorf, specializing in patent law, the outcome of the proceeding.
Düsseldorf-based attorneys Dr. Andreas Urban, Dr. Anton Horn and Astrid Luedtke (Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek) represented the succeeding EGGER companies. They enlisted the assistance of patent attorneys Dr. Thomas Rox and Dr. Jochen Kapfenberger (both COHAUSZ & FLORACK, Düsseldorf).