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03 June 2013
In a May 6 2013 decision, Commercial Court No 4 of Barcelona upheld a non-infringement action filed by Vileda against Taiwanese company Dikai International Enterprise Co Ltd and Italian company Orlandi SpA, the owner and licensee respectively of Utility Model ES 1069292. Claim 1 of this utility model protects:
"A device for expelling liquid from an object containing water which comprises: a container with a receptor and an installation part, with a separating unit between the receptor and the installation part; a rotating unit comprising: a supporting part installed in the receptor for holding the object which contains water; and a driving shaft mounted to the installation part and connected to the supporting part; a transmission unit mounted to the installation part and connected to the driving shaft, and a pusher unit connected to the transmission unit; whereby the pusher unit mechanically drives the transmission unit and the transmission unit makes the rotating unit rotate, thus eliminating water from the object."
The action derived from cease and desist letters sent by Orlandi to Vileda (and some of its customers), arguing that Vileda's Easywring & Clean device fell within the scope of Claim 1 of Dikai's utility model.
Vileda's main arguments in the proceedings were as follows:
Dikai did not appear in the proceedings. Although Orlandi did, the court did not admit its defence pleading because it was made so late. In spite of this, Orlandi was allowed to provide evidence and even to appoint an expert who intervened during the trial hearing.
The court held as follows:
As the court upheld Vileda's first petition (non-infringement), it did not analyse the subsidiary petition (invalidity).
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