Press release of November 7, 2012

With its decision of November 7, 2012 the Nürnberg-Fürth District Court (Case 3 O 6652/12) has lifted a preliminary injunction obtained by Nike International Ltd. on the basis of an alleged patent infringement against adidas AG (represented by BARDEHLE PAGENBERG).

The subject-matter of the preliminary injunction proceedings was the alleged infringement of the European Patent EP 1 571 938 B1 by the “adizero primeknit“-shoe of adidas AG. The patent-in-suit concerns a shoe, the upper part of which contains fibres of a meltable polymer material arranged in a certain order.

Nike International Ltd. at first had obtained a preliminary injunction ex parte, i.e., without adidas AG having the possibility to be heard, of which adidas AG was notified on September 24, 2012. The ensuing prohibition for adidas AG to distribute its “adizero primeknit” shoe was reported extensively in the press. In a first important step BARDEHLE PAGENBERG succeeded only a few days later by way of an appeal to obtain a stop of the enforcement of the injunction order, with effect of October 10, 2012, – which is a rare course of events in German patent practice. The appeal was based on non-infringement of the patent claims and on invalidity of the patent-in-suit, in light of a nullity suit which was first announced and then filed with the Federal Patent Court on October 17, 2012.

In oral proceedings of October 24, 2012 before the Nürnberg-Fürth District Court, the Presiding Judge voiced substantive doubts about the asserted infringement of the patent-in-suit, on the one hand, and – against the background of the filed nullity suit – on the validity of the patent-in-suit, on the other hand.

As expected, the Nürnberg-Fürth District Court now lifted with its decision of November 7, 2012 the preliminary injunction, rejecting the corresponding claims for injunctive relief and thereby ruled entirely in favour of adidas AG. The decision is not yet final; Nike is allowed to file an appeal. 

Legal representatives adidas AG:

Dr. Tilman Müller-Stoy (Attorney-at-law, Partner),
Dr. Hans Wegner (Patent Attorney, Partner),
Dr. Christian Haupt (Patent Attorney)
Jörg Wahl (Attorney-at-law),

Legal representatives Nike International Ltd.:

Wragge&Co: Dr. Michael Schneider, Dr. Peter Koch (Attorneys-at-law)
Prinz & Partner: Dr. Bernhard Pfleiderer (Patent Attorney)

Landgericht Nürnberg-Fürth (3. Civil Chamber):
Horst Rottmann (Presiding Judge)