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German court invalidates Durst’s patent in case against EFI

November 4, 2013

A court has invalidated parts of a patent held by Durst related to white ink printing.

EFI has announced that the Federal Patent Court of Germany has invalidated substantial parts of a patent held by Durst Phototechnik Digital Technology GmbH related to white ink printing that Durst had previously asserted in an infringement action against EFI.

Durst sued EFI for allegedly infringing German patent No. 10 2005 006 092. In addition to denying those allegations, EFI filed a nullity action in the Federal Patent Court of Germany, asking that court to invalidate the portions of the patent asserted against EFI on the grounds that what Durst claimed had actually been disclosed years before. German courts in Mannheim and Karlsruhe had already held a Durst utility model claiming the same “invention” invalid for similar reasons.

On October 23, 2013, the German Federal Patent Court agreed with EFI and invalidated substantial parts of Durst’s patent. Under German law, Durst has the right to appeal. Should there be no appeal, this will conclude a multi-year legal battle initiated by Durst repeatedly suing EFI without provocation.

“We at EFI believe that competition should be customer-focused, not litigation-focused. It should be based on genuine innovations, not on questionable patent claims. And it should take place in the marketplace, not in the courtroom,” says EFI’s General Counsel Bryan Ko. “We will always defend ourselves vigorously when necessary, but we will continue to focus first on ideas and technology to help our customers succeed.”

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