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“Warning Letter/Technicolor”

Decision of the Supreme Court (Cour de cassation) 27 May 2015 – Cases Nos. D/2014/10800 and B20150042

  1. 1.

    A warning letter sent to distributors of allegedly infringing products is not an unlawful threat already for the fact that the validity of the patents in question has not been confirmed by a final court decision.

  2. 2.

    A lawful threat addressed to distributors needs to take into account their limited technical means to check for themselves the validity of the claims, namely where infringement/validity has been contested by the supplier of the allegedly infringing products.

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Translated from PIBD 1031-III-481 by Leo Lahme.

On the position of French courts regarding unjustified threats for alleged patent infringements, see Christopher Heath, “Wrongful Patent Enforcement”, 39 IIC 307, 312 (2008).

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Technicolor SA et Thomson Licensing SASU v. Vestel Elektronik Sanayi ve Ticaeret AS (Turquie) et Vestel France SASU Intellectual Property Code, Art. L 615-1; Code of Civil Procedure, Art. 873; Civil Code, Art. 1382. “Warning Letter/Technicolor”. IIC 47, 617–619 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40319-016-0489-2

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Keywords

  • Warning letter
  • Infringing products
  • Validity of a patent