Press release of February 16, 2011

The Nordic-Walking poles with cuffs of Hudora GmbH infringe a patent directed to a glove/ski pole assembly of the French sports equipment manufacturer Salomon SAS.  The 2. Senate of the Dusseldorf Appeal Court in its decision of January 20, 2011 (Case I-2 U 39/10) confirmed the broad interpretation of the underlying patent as made in first instance.  In the past, a dozen first instance decisions had been rendered, primarily by the Dusseldorf District Court, against a multitude of different defendants which were all not re-examined in second instance.

The patent-in-suit (that had expired in the mean-time) was defended by BARDEHLE PAGENBERG in four nullity actions.  It concerns the way in which a hand can be fastened to the pole.  This way of fastening, developed by Salomon in 1989 primarily in connection with gloves for snow sports, was to prove effective especially in the field of Nordic Walking – a sport not even known on the day of the application of the patent-in-suit.  The broad interpretation of the patent-in-suit by the Mannheim and Dusseldorf District Courts was felt by many of the defendants to be reaching too far and was critically discussed also by patent law experts.  This interpretation, however, has now been confirmed in its entirety by the Dusseldorf Appeal Court.

BARDEHLE PAGENBERG (Munich und Dusseldorf):
Clemens Rübel (Attorney-at-law, Partner),
Udo Altenburg (German and European Patent Attorney, Partner),
Martin Hohgardt (German and European Patent Attorney, Partner)

Representatives Hudora GmbH:
Preu Bohlig & Partner
(Dusseldorf): Miriam Kiefer, LL.M. (Attorney-at-law, Associate)

Dusseldorf Appeal Court, 2. Civil Senate:
Dr. Thomas Kühnen
(Presiding Judge)
District Court, 4a. Civil Chamber
Dr. Daniel Voß
(Deputy Presiding Judge)

Background: BARDEHLE PAGENBERG advises and represents Salomon SAS since more than 30 years extensively in matters of intellectual property. The Patent Litigation Group of BARDEHLE PAGENBERG is currently representing German and international clients in more than 100 pending patent infringement proceedings in Germany.