Press release of July 24, 2010
In patent litigation proceedings which had lasted over several years, the abrasive materials manufacturer Jöst GmbH, a medium-sized company typical of the German “Mittelstand”, achieved a legally prominent victory against a large competitor Saint-Gobain Abrasives GmbH. On July 6, 2010, the Federal Supreme Court (BGH) essentially maintained the German part of European Patent EP 0 781 629 B1 after a previous nullity decision issued by the Federal Patent Court. No further legal remedies are admitted against this decision.
The patent protects the multihole-grinding-disc technology developed by Jöst GmbH which is marketed under the designation “useit-Superpad P”. The particularity of the “useit-Superpad P” is that the grinding disc has many small perforation apertures through which the grinding dust is aspirated by the shortest way from the grinding surface, whereby the dust is transported on the adhesive layer on the back of the grinding disc. Due to the constant dust aspiration on the entire surface, the grinding disc has an enormous grinding performance, allowing an almost dust-free grinding and is substantially more durable than normal grinding discs. These advantages made the grinding disc one of the most successful products of Jöst GmbH.
The maintenance of the patent by the Federal Supreme Court now gives Jöst GmbH the possibility to resume various pending patent infringement proceedings which had been suspended due to the nullity decision previously issued by the Federal Patent Court. Jöst GmbH, in its firm belief that its patent would be maintained, had sued various competitors for patent infringement not only before, but also after the meanwhile – in the first instance – issued decree of nullity of the patent, thus carrying a considerable cost risk in order to protect itself and its licensees.
The founder and managing director of Jöst GmbH, Peter Jöst, being glad about the successful outcome of the lawsuit: “Finally, the efforts undertaken over several years for enforcing and protecting our patent have turned out worthwhile, since the re-establishing of the patent by the Federal Supreme Court represents an important economically motivating force and is an expression of our innovative strength. It safeguards the jobs of our employees and thus the continuation of Jöst GmbH. We now have planning security for the next years and can use all our energy for new ideas and products which we will obviously again be protected against imitators by way of industrial property rights.”
Peter Jöst founded his enterprise in 1981 and can look back on a successful company history of almost 30 years. The family enterprise has been growing continuously during the past years and has meanwhile about 50 employees. Jöst GmbH develops, manufactures and distributes high quality abrasive materials for industrial and commercial clients all over the world.
Legal representatives of Jöst GmbH:
BARDEHLE PAGENBERG (Munich):
Peter K. Hess (Responsible for Coordination, German and European Patent Attorney, Partner),
Dr. Tilman Müller-Stoy (Litigation, Attorney-at-Law, Partner),
Alexander Wunsch (Patent Attorney and European Patent Attorney)
Legal representatives of Saint-Gobain Abrasives GmbH:
Dr. Joachim Kummer & Peter Wassermann – attorneys-at-law at the Federal Supreme Court (Ettlingen): Peter Wassermann (attorney-at-law)
Patent attorneys Zimmermann & Partner (Munich): Dr. Thomas Leidescher (patent attorney)
Hogan Lovells (Hamburg): Dr. Christian Stoll (attorney-at-law)