Germany: BARDEHLE verteidigt Patent für Rogers Germany GmbH vor dem Bundespatentgericht
Last Updated: 30 April 2018

Mit Urteil vom 10. April 2018 (Aktenzeichen: 3 Ni 29/16 (EP)) hat das Bundespatentgericht eine Nichtigkeitsklage abgewiesen, die von der KCC Europe GmbH gegen den deutschen Teil des europäischen Patents 1 412 307 eingereicht wurde, dessen Inhaberin die Rogers Germany GmbH ist. Das angegriffene Patent betrifft ein Verfahren zum Herstellen von Metall-Keramik-Verbundmaterialien, die beispielsweise häufig als Leiterplatten Verwendung finden.

Das europäische Patent 1 412 307 der Rogers Germany GmbH (das Patent") stellt ein einfaches und zugleich sehr robustes Verfahren zum Herstellen von Metall-Keramik-Verbundmaterialien durch den sog. Direct-Bonding-Prozess bereit. Der Direct-Bonding-Prozess – der auch als Direct Copper Bonding" oder kurz DCB" bezeichnet wird, wenn Kupfer zum Einsatz kommt – wird normalerweise in industriellem Maßstab in großen Durchlauföfen durchgeführt und erreicht Temperaturen über 1.000 °C. Während des Verfahrens spielt die Regelung des Sauerstoffgehalts in der Atmosphäre, die das Keramiksubstrat und die Metallfolie umgibt, eine entscheidende Rolle. Das Patent befasst sich mit dieser Aufgabenstellung und schlägt vor, die Komponenten während des Herstellungsverfahrens nach Anspruch 1 in einer Kapsel unterzubringen.

KCC Europe GmbH erhob Nichtigkeitsklage gegen den deutschen Teil des Patents und brachte vor, das beanspruchte Verfahren (i) enthalte keine ausreichende Offenbarung, (ii) sei nicht neu gegenüber drei Dokumenten aus dem Stand der Technik und (iii) sei nicht erfinderisch gegenüber mehreren Lehren aus dem Stand der Technik. Die Inhaberin des Patents, die Rogers Germany GmbH, verteidigte sich gegen sämtliche Angriffe und beantragte die Aufrechterhaltung des Patents in der erteilten Fassung.

Nach einer halbtägigen Verhandlung am 10. April 2018 wies der 3. Senat des Bundespatentgerichts die Klage der KCC Europe GmbH in vollem Umfang ab und erhielt so das angegriffene Patent in seiner erteilten Fassung aufrecht. Der KCC Europe GmbH wurden die Kosten des Verfahrens basierend auf einem Streitwert von 5 Millionen Euro auferlegt. Gegen die Entscheidung kann Berufung eingelegt werden.

Das Nichtigkeitsverfahren ist Teil eines größeren Verletzungsstreits zwischen der Rogers Germany GmbH und der KCC Europe GmbH sowie des koreanischen Mutterunternehmens von KCC, der KCC Corporation. Derzeit ist aufgrund des nunmehr in vollem Umfang aufrechterhaltenen Patents ein Verletzungsberufungsverfahren zwischen der Rogers Germany GmbH und den KCC Unternehmen vor dem OLG Karlsruhe anhängig.

Vertreter der Rogers Germany GmbH: BARDEHLE PAGENBERG (München)
Tobias Kaufmann (Patentanwalt und European Patent Attorney, Partner)
Dr. Axel B. Berger (Patentanwalt und European Patent Attorney, Partner)
Prof. Dr. Tilman Müller-Stoy (Rechtsanwalt, Partner)
Dr. Michael Kobler (Rechtsanwalt)

Vertreter der KCC Europe GmbH: Bird & Bird (München)
Dr. Daniela Kinkeldey (Patentanwältin und European Patent Attorney)
Dr. Andreas Obermeier (Patentanwalt und European Patent Attorney)
Dr. Matthias Meyer (Rechtsanwalt)
Martin Wagner (Rechtsanwalt)

Bundespatentgericht (3. Senat):
Vorsitzender Richter Walter Schramm, Richter Dr. Martin Jäger, Richter Rüdiger Kätker, Richterin Dr. Andrea Münzberg, Richterin Dr. Carola Wagner

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