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Lidl loses court battle: Monsieur Cuisine infringes Thermomix patent

Catalan court orders German discounter to withdraw food processors from sale and pay compensation

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19 January 2021 05:48 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Bargain hunters browsing the middle aisle in Lidl will no longer be able to find its Monsieur Cuisine all-in-one food processor after a court in Barcelona ruled that the bestselling item infringed on a patent held by German company Vorwerk, manufacturers of the Thermomix kitchen appliance.

Tuesday's verdict means that the discount supermarket chain – also headquartered in Germany – has to withdraw the Monsieur Cuisine from sale in Spain, and cease all imports, storage, marketing and advertising of the food processor.

Lidl must also pay compensation and legal fees to Vorwerk, and has also been instructed to remove any products already in the hands of distributors.

The Thermomix owners began legal proceedings in June 2019, and argued that their patent was infringed upon due to the similarities between the two items in question. Lidl argued that there were many similar items on the market, and that Thermomix lacked any novel features.

The court ruling said that Monsieur Cuisine violated Thermomix's European patent, registered in Spain in 2008.

Thermomix is marketed as "your very own kitchen assistant" and can carry out various tasks including heating, chopping, weighing and stirring.

Monsieur Cuisine retailed at €359, around one third of the price of the latest Thermomix model, the TM6.

Lidl may still file an appeal, but must comply with the court ruling.

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  • Lidl's Monsieur Cuisine food processor (left) and Vorwerk's Thermomix (right), January 19, 2021 (by Anna Nogué)

  • Lidl's Monsieur Cuisine food processor (left) and Vorwerk's Thermomix (right), January 19, 2021 (by Anna Nogué)

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