Supreme Court decision on Doctrine of Equivalents

Case No. 4A_131/2016 (Supreme Court) ¦ Decision of 03 October 2016 ¦ “Urinalventil”

For a brief review of the underlying decision O2014_002 of the FPC, see this Blog here. The decision of the Supreme Court has been published today.

An important take-away message is: The third question (which has been applied by the FPC for the first time in S2013_001, somewhat similar to Schneidmesser in Germany and Improver in the UK) has now been approved by the Supreme Court. Welcome!

With due consideration of the claim wording in view of the description: Would the person skilled in the art have taken the replacing features into account as being an equivalent solution? (“Gleichwertigkeit”)

On the merits of the case, the Supreme Court overruled the FPC’s decision on equivalence. It will take me a few days to digest the decision and to put it into perspective. Asking three questions is a first step; the devil surely is in the detail of the answers. Stay tuned.

Reported by Martin WILMING


Case No. 4A_131/2016 (Supreme Court) ¦ Decision of 03 October 2016 ¦ “Urinalventil”

Daspaco AG ./. Von Allmen AG

Composition of the Board of the Supreme Court:

  • Dr. Christina KISS
  • Dr. Kathrin KLETT
  • Dr. Gilbert KOLLY
  • Dr. Fabienne HOHL
  • Dr. Martha NIQUILLE

Court Clerk:

  •  Dr. Christoph HURNI

Representative(s) of Appellant / Patentee:

Representative(s) of Defendant:


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