Camping is trendy, particularly during the summer season. The dispute over valves for gas systems used in camper vans will be of particular interest to travel enthusiasts. The Hamburg Regional Court recently dismissed an application by Truma Gerätetechnik for a preliminary injunction against GOK (case ID:327 O 211/19).
14 August 2019 by Konstanze Richter
The subject of the dispute is the German part of patent EP 2 096 340 B1 (DP: 50 2008 000 901.9). This protects a valve with a so-called crash sensor. This is used, for example, in heating systems or gas systems for caravans and motorhomes. In the event of an accident, the safety device prevents gas escaping from the pipe leading from the gas cylinder to the heater.
Truma Gerätetechnik supplies heating, air conditioning, water heaters and gas supply systems for caravans and mobile homes. GOK manufactures and sells accessories such as pressure regulators, fittings and hose lines, as well as installation solutions for liquid gas systems.
For decades, the two companies had a manufacturing cooperation for pressure regulators and valves with so-called crash sensors. However, this cooperation no longer exists.
Truma Gerätetechnik filed an application for a temporary injunction at the Hamburg Regional Court. This was intended to prevent GOK from exhibiting pressure regulators and changeover valves that are equipped with the crash sensor at the Caravan Salon trade fair in Düsseldorf, which begins at the end of August. However, the Regional Court rejected the suit in early August.
The German Patent and Trade Mark Office had recently restricted the protective right at the request of the patent holder Truma Gerätetechnik. This is because new documents on the state of the art became available from the USA.
A parallel nullity suit is also pending before the German Federal Patent Court (case ID: 4 Ni 36/19).
Truma may appeal the judgment from Hamburg Regional Court. The company may also file an infringement suit in the event that GOK exhibits its products in Düsseldorf.
Truma has relied on Taylor Wessing to protect its intellectual property for years, particularly in connection with the annual Caravan Salon trade fair. The main focus here is on patent, copyright and trademark infringements by foreign competitors. The law firm regularly cooperates with the Munich patent attorney firm Prinz & Partner on patent disputes.
Vossius partner Schubert and patent attorney Salzer advised GOK for the first time.
The manufacturer had specifically searched for a mixed law firm that could provide infringement and nullity advice from a single source.
Taylor Wessing (Munich): Gisbert Hohagen (lead), Michael Samer
Prinz & Partner (Munich): Jochen Sties (patent attorney)
Vossius & Partner (Munich): Thure Schubert (lead), Florian Jan Förster, Raphael Salzer, Thomas Schürmann (both patent attorneys)
Regional Court Hamburg, 27th Civil Chamber
Stephanie Zöllner (presiding judge)