Status of Belgian proceedings between nanoWatt and Europlasma: no patent infringement claims – pending dispute on copyright

nanoWatt has been made aware of press coverage circulating in the market alleging that it would be infringing the intellectual property rights of one of its competitors, Europlasma. The current coverage is incomplete and risks to create false perceptions. nanoWatt therefore feels compelled to inform the market of the actual status of the Belgian proceedings against Europlasma.

In April 2023, Europlasma unilaterally requested the President of the Brussels Enterprise Court an order to preserve evidence by description and an order for inspection of nanoWatt premises. Europlasma’s request was based on an alleged infringement of Europlasma’s patents and of copyright on drawings. The Court appointed an expert that carried out the description on 2 May 2023. nanoWatt objected to the order to preserve evidence. nanoWatt succeeded in proving to the Court that Europlasma did not demonstrate any prima facie copyright in the technical drawings it invoked. Furthermore, the Enterprise Court ruled in its judgment of 7 July 2023 that only two of the three invoked patents were prima facie valid. In addition, nanoWatt also raised Europlasma’s competitive position and expressed fears of industrial espionage by Europlasma, leading the court to decide to take additional confidentiality measures. Europlasma recently appealed the judgment of 7 July 2023. However, the appeal is limited to the part of the dismissal of prima facie copyrights and confidentiality measures. These proceedings are pending before the Court of Appeal in Brussels.

On 6 September 2023, the court expert finalized the report of the description. nanoWatt had always defended that it never committed any patent infringements (or any other intellectual property infringements). No patent infringements could indeed by deduced from the report of the description. Consequently, Europlasma did not file any claims on the merits for patent infringement.

After it became clear that Nanowatt does not infringe any of Europlasma’s patents, Europlasma decided to start alternative proceedings before the Enterprise Court in Ghent based on alleged copyrights (which the President of the Brussels Enterprise Court found prima facie not proven in its judgment of 7 July 2023), alleged database rights and alleged trade secrets. nanoWatt fully and strongly contests these allegations and will continue to defend itself against the actions of Europlasma. The position of nanoWatt is very clear: it did not, and does not infringe any intellectual property rights or any trade secrets.

The activities and products of nanoWatt are based on its own extensive and successful R&D and the longstanding know-how in low-pressure plasma processes. nanoWatt is committed to offering innovative products and processes to the market. nanoWatt focusses on robust and modular equipment -which can be employed 24/7 and is flexibly customizable towards the size of the products to be treated and the required process to be used- ensuring a perfect fit for its customer’s current and next generation products.