Rusk – a type of biscuit – is part of a typical Dutch Sunday breakfast. However, it is difficult to get it our of the packaging in one piece. Patent law to the rescue!
Normally rusk is packaged in a role. In the old days you would have to stick your knife in, at the edge of the rusk, to get one out. However, this would break your biscuit more often than not. Until someone thought about taking a cut out of the rusk, making it easy to grab.
Mr. Tempels, the inventor of the rusk-cut, successfully patented his invention. After a legal battle, the largest Dutch rusk maker Bolletje cut a licensing agreement deal with Tempels.
But now another bakery, Continental Bakeries, had demanded in court that the patent of Temples should be declared invalid. Reason: they want to make rusk-that-doesn’t-break-while-taking-one-out-of-the-packaging as well. According to Continental Bakeries, the notch is not inventive. The court ruled that Continental Bakeries did not clearly demonstrate this.
“I am very happy with this decision”, Tempels said. “It has been often tried to declare the patent invalid. But fortunately, it is still valid.”
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