After several years of utility model and patent disputes between Durst Phototechnik Digital Technology GmbH (‘Durst’) and Electronics for Imaging GmbH, Germany (‘EFI GmbH’) as well as their American parent company Electronics for Imaging Inc. (EFI Inc.’), Durst emerged victorious from the first instance patent infringement dispute involving the German patent DE 10 2005 006 092 B4 (‘patent in dispute’) before Düsseldorf District Court. The Düsseldorf District Court found in favour of Durst – the inventor of overlapping print head arrays for white and coloured inks – in its judgment of 28.02.2013, file ref.: 4a O 107/11.
As a result of the action brought by Durst, the Düsseldorf District Court held that EFI GmbH and EFI Inc., among others, shall refrain from supplying, bringing to the market or using the QS and GS series printing devices in the Federal Republic of Germany. Above this, EFI GmbH was also ordered to refrain from not only using not a procedure that could be performed with these printing devices to prime a printing medium with white dye and subsequently apply colour ink in the Federal Republic of Germany but also from offering and/or supplying printing devices that are suitable for using such a procedure to customers in the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany without notifying in the case of an offer that this printing device may not be used for this procedure without permission from Durst. Or, if applicable, without imposing the written obligation, not to use these printing devices without permission from Durst for the above procedure in the event of delivery to customers, subject to a contractual penalty of €25,000 per printing device as referred to above for each case of infringement. The ruling is still not binding as EFI are still entitled to lodge an appeal against it.
The legal validity of the patent in dispute was unreservedly confirmed by the German Patent and Trademark Office more than two years previously in objection proceedings that concluded with a binding ruling. As part of the pending action for annulment brought by EFI Inc. before the Federal Patent Court, the legal validity of the patent in dispute was once again reviewed. So far there has been no decision. In this respect however, after a summary examination the Düsseldorf District Court found in its ruling of 28.02.2013 that there was no question of adjourning the infringement proceedings because of the pending action for annulment as the likelihood of the patent in dispute being revoked was not expected to be high.