Delica and JDE litigating over aluminum coffee capsules

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Case No. O2020_002 | Judgment of 21 December 2021

DISCLOSURE NOTICE: Hepp Wenger Ryffel was involved in this matter on behalf of Delica AG.
Delica logo

The plaintiff Delica had initiated nullity proceedings against Douwe Egbert’s CH 711 079 B1 on 2 June 2020; see Swissreg for bibliographic details.

CH 079 is part of a complex patent family. Corresponding to CH 079, the patent family comprises DE 20 2016 106 171 U1 (see the DPMA Register and file wrapper for further information), i.e. a utility model that was split off from a patent application (DE 10 2016 006 034 A1) which itself has meanwhile been been rejected in 2018 (cf. DPMA Register / file wrapper).

It is noted in ¶16 of the judgment that Douwe Egberts had initiated infringement proceedings 21 O 12764/19 in Munich, which are currently stayed in view of the cancellation proceedings; cf. order of 5 August 2020.

Coffee capsule

Claim 1 of CH 079 is pretty lengthy. In a nutshell, it’s about a coffee capsule with an aluminum capsule body and an aluminum cover, wherein the dispute was mainly about a specific arrangement of a sealing element in the flange of the capsule. Further independent claims pertain to a corresponding system and use of said capsule.

DE logo

About half of the judgment is dealing with the procedural history and a recitation of the various requests for maintenance of CH 079 in limited form; DE did not defend CH 079 as granted anymore. Yet further 12 pages of the judgment are spent on claim construction. The latter paved the way for a straight-forward assessment of patentability on the merits: The judgment holds that the subject-matter of all requests on file is anticipated by WO 2014 / 184 652 A1. Accordingly, CH 079 has been revoked and the further novelty attacks based on WO 2014 / 184 653 A1, WO 2014 / 198 474 A1, WO 2014 / 184 651 A1, EP 1 700 548 A1 and WO 2013 / 120 997 A1 did not need to be addressed.

The judgment is not yet final / can still be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Reported by Martin WILMING


Case No. O2020_002 | Judgment of 21 December 2021

Delica AG
Koninklijke Douwe Egberts B.V.

Panel of Judges:

    • Dr. Mark SCHWEIZER
    • André WERNER
    • Kurt STOCKER


    • André WERNER

Court Clerk:

    • Susanne ANDERHALDEN

Representative(s) of Plaintiff:

Representative(s) of Defendant:

    • Andrea MONDINI (TIMES)
    • Dr. Theodore CHOI (SBMP), assisting in patent matters
    • Christoph FRAEFEL (SBMP), assisting in patent matters




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