The Netherlands: Rusk indentation patent does not cause a dominant position
Managing IP is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2024

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

The Netherlands: Rusk indentation patent does not cause a dominant position

On December 19 2016 the court in Arnhem decided in preliminary relief proceedings about a patent situation, based on competition law.

The case relates to a patent on a flat baking having an edge indentation. The invention allows a consumer to easily take a rusk out of a tightly packed roll of stacked rusks, without breaking the rusk. This is simply done by inserting a fingertip in the rusk indentation.

Licence agreements exist for several years between the patentee (a Dutch inventor) and two different Dutch bakeries, who are selling rolls of the patented rusks. Recently, another bakery requested to enter into licence negotiations. The patentee refused. The bakery initiated preliminary relief proceedings and demanded a right to enter into licence negotiations, based on competition law. The bakery argued that the patent would give the patentee a dominant position in the relevant market. It was further argued that the patentee's refusal of licence negotiations would be an abuse of the alleged dominant position.

The court considered that various specific rusk packings exist designed for easy removal of stacked conventional rusks not having the patented indentations. For example a roll-packing exists having a kind of zipper, which facilitates reliable removal of conventional rusks from the tight roll-packing. Furthermore it was considered that conventional rusks are available in the market in loose bags, in which case the problem related to removing rusks from a tightly packed roll does not exist. Thus, the court concluded that real and adequate alternatives are available to be active in the same market. Already for these reasons, the court concluded that in the present case there is no question of a dominant position in the relevant market. Accordingly, the court decided that the licence negotiations are not enforcable.


Karel de Jong

V.O.Johan de Wittlaan 72517 JR The HagueThe NetherlandsTel: +31 70 416 67 11Fax: +31 70 416 67

more from across site and ros bottom lb

More from across our site

The deal could help Rouse gain a foothold in Australia and New Zealand for the first time
With a team of more than 80 patent lawyers and attorneys across 21 European offices, the firm is acting in some of the most high-profile UPC cases
Lippes Mathias has hired three partners and a counsel from Offit Kurman
External counsel for automotive companies explain how trends such as AI and vehicle connectivity are affecting their practices and reveal what their clients are prioritising
We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis coverage from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP
The winners of the awards will be revealed at a gala dinner in New York City on April 25
Counsel debate the potential outcome of SCOTUS’s latest copyright case after justices questioned whether they should dismiss it
Each week Managing IP speaks to a different IP lawyer about their life and career
The small Düsseldorf firm is making a big impact in the UPC. Founding partner Christof Augenstein explains why
The court criticised Oppo’s attempts to delay proceedings and imposed a penalty, adding that the Chinese company may need to pay more if the trial isn’t concluded this year
Gift this article