The company that produces the famous cooking robot Thermomix has won a lawsuit forcing Lidl supermarkets to remove their Monsieur Cuisine Connect kitchen assistant for patent infringement.
The decision was made by a judge in Commercial Court No.5 in Barcelona in the Spanish region of Catalonia yesterday, 19th January.
The decision will force Lidl to remove their Monsieur Cuisine Connect cooking appliance for infringing on a patent that belongs to the German Vorwerk Corporate Group which filed the lawsuit in June 2019.
Vorwerk are the creators of Thermomix which has become very popular and led to different kitchen assistants popping up with similar characteristics.
Lidl argued there is a lack of novelty between some of the newest models compared to older versions and asked the judge to remove the patent.
However, the court decided that Lidl’s model reproduced each of the characteristics of the Thermomix without offering anything new, finding them guilty of patent infringement.
Reports said that one key feature the investigators focused on was the Monsieur Cuisine Connect’s ability to weigh food while sealed and cooking, which is a function also found in the Thermomix.
According to the newspaper El Pais, an expert concluded Lidl would not have added the latest feature on their own as they did not “even have the motivation to do it”. (https://bit.ly/39LsDuI)
Besides forcing Lidl to remove and destroy all of the cooking machines along with their publicity both online and physical, the supermarket chain will also have to pay a compensation fee to the German corporation, according to local media.
The amount is still unclear as it will be decided until after the verdict is formalised as Lidl could still appeal the decision.
According to El Economista, a company spokesperson said they will review the ruling and see what their next step is. (https://bit.ly/3sGw92d)
Vorwerk asked for 10 percent of the revenue made in the sales of the Monsieur Cuisine Connect which costs around a third of the original’s price.
The latest model of a Thermomix sells for about EUR 1,200 (GBP 1,066) while Lidl’s version sold for as little as EUR 359 (GBP 318).