Thermomix takes Lidl’s kitchen robot to court

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Starting this Tuesday, the Mercantile Court number 5 of Barcelona will be the scene of a legal battle over kitchen robots. But not because of its effectiveness in making succulent stews, but because of the permits to sell an electrical appliance of these characteristics in Spain. The Vorwerk business group, which has the Spanish patent, validation of a European one, of a kitchen machine, in reference to the popular Thermomix, sued Lidl supermarkets for one of its products.

Specifically, Vorweck considers that the supermarket chain infringed its patent by importing and marketing the kitchen robot called “Monsieur Cuisine Connect” in Spain, under the Silvercrest brand, which includes Lidl appliances. For this reason, the owners of the Thermomix claim compensation for damages of 10% on the gross amount of the sales figure of the allegedly infringing products to the supermarket company for this violation of their patent.

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On the contrary, Lidl denies in its statement of claim that its product infringes the aforementioned patent and counterattacks by asking the court to declare the nullity of Vorweck’s patent for lack of novelty, for lack of inventive step and for addition of matter. In this sense, it considers that the characteristics of the limited version of the patent were present in the original application but not in the specific combination that the owner presented with his counterclaim.

Lidl also considers the compensation claimed by the business group inadmissible. The trial will begin this Tuesday with the presentation of experts on the validity of the patent and on Wednesday those of infringement to end on Thursday with the conclusions. Afterwards, the court will analyze all the documentation and it is expected that in a few weeks it will issue its sentence.

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