New judgement concerning utility models

In a recent case concerning the validity of a utility model the Maritime and Commercial Court clarified the requirements for non-obviousness in the Danish Utility Models Act.

The case is part of a group of cases initiated by the Danish company Power Stow against RASN A/S (a sub­sidiary of SAS). The case concerned the validity of a utility model concerning a specific belt conveyer for use when loading and unloading aircrafts. The court stated - for the first time in Danish case law - that the technical field which the person skilled in the art would have general knowledge of, would be more narrow than the technical field which is relevant when examining the validity of a patent. Therefore, the relevant technical field in this case should not be extended to include loading and unloading of trucks.

The case also concerned the question of lack of novelty in relation to a document provided to a public authority in connection with an instruction from the authority on health and safety. The court found that only a small group of people had knowledge of the document. The possibility that third parties could request access to the document under the Danish Freedom of Information Act did not entail that the document had been disclosed to the public, since the party having submitted the docu­ment justly could have opposed a request for disclosure.

The court thus found that the utility model was valid. The judgement has been appealed to the Supreme Court by Power Stow.

The judgement is of high importance also in relation to Life Science as this confirms that utility models may be a relevant and important mean in protection of IP rights.

RASN was represented in the case by Peter-Ulrik Plesner.

For further information about the case, please contact Peter-Ulrik Plesner, Attorney-at-Law,, Mikkel Vittrup, Attorney-at-Law,, or Mette Hygum Clausen, Attorney-at-Law,