Who fell into a burning ring of fire … ?

Case No. O2018_007

Reading time: 4 minutes

Isn’t it funny how one sometimes just stumbles upon interesting things?

The FPC requested acceleration of pending opposition/appeal proceedings at the EPO concerning EP 2 581 003 B1; see EPO Register and the online file wrapper. Apparently, main proceedings with case no. O2018_007 are pending at the FPC.

The patent at stake is about an apparatus for cooking food products. More information about the patentee’s product ‘Feuerring’ can be found on the patentee’s homepage.

The only independent claim 1 of EP’003 as granted read as follows:

An apparatus for cooking food products, said apparatus comprising a firebox (4) with an axially symmetrical form, the firebox (4) having a box wall (6) and a box edge (8), which defines the box wall, and being intended to accommodate a combustion material which, during combustion, outputs the thermal energy required for cooking, and having a continuous heating surface (10) which runs substantially at a right angle to the axis (A) of the firebox (4), surrounds an opening (12) arranged about the axis and is intended for the direct cooking of the food products, wherein between the box wall (6) and the heating surface (10) there is arranged a false floor (14) which is intended to support the combustion material, characterised in that the false floor (14) and the box wall (6) have an outlet opening (24 or 22) each for removing the residue of the combustion material from the apparatus.

This can be best understood with the figures of EP’003 at hand:

Two opponents lodged an opposition against the grant of EP’003, i.e. Nouvel AG and Ofyr BV. The patent has been maintained in first instance by an Opposition Division of the EPO with interlocutory decision of 18 July 2017, in slightly amended form as follows:

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Opponent Nouvel AG lodged an appeal, and the FPC now requested to accelerate these appeal proceedings. Interestingly, two separate briefs with reasons of appeal have been filed: One by Felber & Partner, the other one by Manitz Finsterwald. Patentee / respondent has filed an answer.

Update 05 October 2018:

Opponent/appellant Nouvel filed a reply on 01 October 2018.

Not much is known about the actual subject of the proceedings pending at the FPC, except for the party representatives: Simon Holzer (MLL) and Andri Hess (Homburger). In view of MLL‘s involvement in the matter, Mark Schweizer apparently stepped back and Christian Hilti is chairing these proceedings.

Reported by Martin WILMING


Case No. O2018_007

[tbc] ./. [tbc]

Panel of Judges:

  • Dr. Christian HILTI
  • [tbc]
  • [tbc]


  • [tbc]

Court Clerk:

  • [tbc]



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