Press release of Mai 23, 2012

The Japanese manufacturer of medical products, Omron Healthcare Europe B.V., prevailed in a patent nullity suit before the Federal Supreme Court (X ZR 75/11) against The Procter & Gamble Company.

Procter & Gamble was the owner of the German patent DE 196 54 319 C1 regarding an electrical vibration toothbrush. The patent was directed to the vibration generating means of such toothbrushes which are based on a rotating unbalanced mass which generates vibrations that are transferred to the brush-head to provide a cleaning effect.

On December 17, 2009, BARDEHLE PAGENBERG filed, on behalf of Omron Healthcare, a nullity suit against the patent before the Federal Patent Court in Munich. In a first decision of April 5, 2011 (4 Ni 74/09) the Federal Patent Court revoked the patent in its entirety. Procter & Gamble appealed against the decision to the Federal Supreme Court in Karlsruhe. With its decision of May 8, 2012, the Supreme Court confirmed the decision of the first instance and dismissed the appeal of Procter & Gamble. The reported case is one of the first cases decided under the new regulations concerning nullity proceedings in Germany.

Representatives of Omron Healthcare Europe B.V.:

Peter K. Hess (Patent Attorney, Partner),
Joachim Mader (Patent Attorney, Partner),
Dr. Tilman Müller-Stoy (Attorney-at-Law, Partner)

Representatives of The Procter & Gamble Company:

Field Fisher Waterhouse (Munich): Dr. Joachim Feldges (Attorney-at-Law), Dr. Jochen Herr (Attorney-at-Law, Patent Attorney)

Federal Supreme Court (X. Civil Senate):

Professor Dr. Peter Meier-Beck (Presiding Judge)