Teff Patent in Germany Expired


the patent law team of the law firm of Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek ensured that the disputed teff patent no longer exists in Germany, by filing an action for annulment.

The granting of the European teff patent was perceived as great injustice in Ethiopia, because it protected a well-known foodstuff by a European company under patent law. Dr. Anton Horn (Picture), Head of the Heuking patent team, filed a lawsuit against this injustice.

The “teff patent” (EP 1 646 287) protects a flour made from teff (“Eragrostis tef”), a type of grass that has been cultivated in Ethiopia and Eritrea for more than 5,000 years. Teff is gluten-free and rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Particularly among people with gluten intolerance (celiac disease), it is enjoying increasing popularity worldwide.

The patent law experts at Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek examined the case and arrived at the conclusion that the patent had been granted wrongly. As the Dutch patent holder, Jans Roosjen, failed to respond to an out-of-court letter, the law firm filed a patent nullity suit with the Federal Patent Court in Munich on March 29, 2019.

In response to the action for annulment, the patent holder waived the German part of the teff patent in a brief dated June 13, 2019. This waiver has been entered in the patent register of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office. Consequently, there is no longer a teff patent in Germany.

Involved fees earner: Anton Horn – Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek;

Law Firms: Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek;

Clients: EP 1 646 287 Teff Patent Dispute;