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Double patent infringement in the automotive sector

Recently, a final decision confirmed the judgment of the Commercial Court No1 of Burgos declaring the infringement of two European patents owned by the reputed manufacturer of interiors and components for automobiles Faurecia Interireur Industrie, represented by our firm in the proceedings.

The decision is aligned with the thesis developed in the expert reports filed by Abril Abogados and concludes that: a) the European patents ES2303204 and ES2380490 are valid despite the revocation counter-claim. According to the Court, the defendant carried out an ex post facto analysis of the inventive step and has not succeeded in undermining the presumption of validity of European patents, a tough task considering EPs suffer a thorough examination before being granted by the EPO; (b) the cross-car beam manufactured and marketed by the defendant, literally infringes both patents by fully reproducing both the independent and several dependent claims.

For these reasons, the defendant - which, at the time the decision became final had already ceased to manufacture the infringing device due to the updating of the type of vehicle in which it was installed - was ordered to stop production and to compensate the plaintiff with a 3% royalty applied to her turnover in the last five years. In addition, the court accepted the analogous application of articles 44 Trademark Law and 55 Industrial Design Law (coercive compensation in case of non-compliance) even though the patent law applicable to the litigation did not expressly recognize such figure (the coercive compensation in patent litigation appears now under article 74.4 of Law 24/2015 of patents).

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