Japan: 特許法 102 条 1 項に基づく損害額の算定において、同項ただし書の適用が否

Last Updated: 16 January 2017
Article by Yusuke Ichikawa

本件は、袋詰めごみの処理を目的とした袋体を破袋するための破袋機に関する発明の特許権者である原告が、被告の製造・販売する製品(以下「被告製品」)が原告の特許を侵害するとして損害賠償等を請求した事件です。裁判所は、被告製品は原告の特許発明の技術的範囲に属すると認定し、損害額の算定において特許法 102 条 1 項を適用しました。

本件では特に、特許法 102 条 1 項に基づき損害額を算定するに際し、同項ただし書の「販売することができない事情」の有無が争われました。

特許法102 条1 項における「侵害者の譲渡した物の数量」について、裁判所は、破袋機 8 台を認定しました。また、裁判所は、「単位数量当たりの利益額」について、「特許権者等の製品の販売価格から製造原価及び製品の販売数量に応じて増加する変動経費を控除した額(限界利益の額)であり,その主張立証責任は,特許権者等の実施能力を含め特許権者側にある」と判示しました。本事案では、原告製品の製造、販売及び納品が外注のため、売上額の合計から仕入額の合計を差し引いて、販売台数で除した約 351 万円の限界利益を認定しました。

次に、裁判所は、特許法 102 条 1 項ただし書の「販売することができない事情」について、「侵害行為と特許権者等の製品の販売減少との相当因果関係を阻害する事情を対象とし、例えば、市場における競合品の存在、侵害者の営業努力(ブランド力、宣伝広告)、侵害品の性能(機能、デザイン等特許発明以外の特徴)、市場の非同一性(価格、販売形態)などの事情がこれに該当する」とし、かかる事情は「侵害者が立証責任を 負」うことを判示しました。

本件では、上記複数の要素のうち、被告が主張した「市場における競合品の存在」及び「市場の非同一性(価格、販売形態)」について、「販売することができない事情」への該当性が問題となりました。

まず、「市場における競合品の存在」について、裁判所は、原告及び被告のほかに、「破袋機を製造販売する第三者」の存在を認定しました。しかし、1.当該破袋機が本件発明と同様の作用効果を奏する事実が認められないこと、2.破袋機市場における販売シェアの状況や第三者が販売する破袋機の価格は不明であるとの状況下においては、上記第三者の存在は、「販売することができない事情」に該当しないと判断しました。

次に、「市場の非同一性」について、裁判所は、原告製品の販売価格は、418 万円から 950 万円の幅があり、1 台当たりの平均額は約645 万円である一方、被告製品の販売価格が 350 万円程度と認定しました。そして、破袋機は、1.一般消費者ではなく事業者等の法人を需要者とする製品であること、2.耐用期間が少なくとも数年間に及ぶこと、を理由として、当該価格差では、「市場の非同一性」が失われないと判断しました。なお、過去の裁判例では、価格差(1500 円又は 3000 円の歯ブラシを、歯ブラシとしては相当高額と認定し(知財高判平成 25 年 2 月 28 日(平成 21 年(ワ)第 10811号))、考慮要素の一つとした事例もあります。

以上のような認定・評価に基づき本判決は特許法102条 1 項ただし書の適用を否定しました。

本判決は、特許法 102 条 1 項ただし書の「販売することができない事情」に関し、特に「市場における競合品の存在」及び「市場の非同一性」について具体的な判断を示したものであり、実務上の参考になると思われます。(市川 祐輔)

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