In the Eye of the Cyclone: EnerDry's Patent of Steam Drying Successfully Enforced
EnerDry holds numerous patents based on inventions by its founder and CEO Arne Sloth Jensen, including European Patent EP 1 070 223 B1. This patent relates to steam dryers with a specific type of cyclone, which substantially improves the capacity and efficiency of steam dryers. EnerDry as the exclusive licensee for this patent was of the opinion that BMA Braunschweigische Maschinenbauanstalt AG infringed the German part of this patent by offering certain steam dryers to potential German and international customers, in particular to a company in Sweden for which BMA actually built a steam dryer.
In May 2016, Dusseldorf Regional Court had already ruled in first instance that a patent infringement of European patent EP 1 070 223 was given. BMA appealed the ruling, but, as was ruled now, unsuccessfully, since Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court largely confirmed the first instance ruling. According to this judgment, BMA is no longer allowed to offer or manufacture patent-infringing steam dryers in Germany. The judgment is based on BMA's publications and offers in general and the specific installation in Sweden. Other than the Regional Court in the first instance, however, the Higher Regional Court ruled that EnerDry was not entitled to ask for the withdrawal and destruction of already manufactured installations.
Previously, BMA had attempted to trivialize the scope of the judgment of first instance. In a press release, BMA stated that the judgment related only to "marketing materials" and did not affect any actually built system. By judgment of October 14, 2016, a different chamber of Dusseldorf Regional Court had ordered BMA to refrain from publishing this press release, as it was misleading and did not correspond to the real scope of the judgment. This judgment has become final and non-appealable.
In addition, BMA had tried to avoid the verdict of patent infringement by filing a nullity action against the German part of the patent EP 1 070 223 B1 with the German Federal Patent Court in Munich. By judgment of March 7, 2017, the Federal Patent Court rejected this nullity action as well and maintained the patent as granted.
The judgments of the Higher Regional Court and of the Federal Patent Court are not yet final. BMA may file appeals against these judgments.
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