“Drum Unit” (Trommeleinheit)
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No third-party rights arise from a voluntary agreement in which companies have made commitments to the European Commission to adhere to certain standards for the purpose of environmental protection in order to avoid a compulsory measure under Art. 15 of Directive 2009/125/EC.
In assessing the question of whether the replacement of parts of an apparatus put into circulation with the permission of the patent holder falls under intended use or represents a new manufacture, the protected product must be considered as a decisive point of reference. This is also the case when the patent holder has put one exemplar of the protected product (here: an image drum unit) into circulation as a component of an object comprising more components (here: a process cartridge).
When a patent claim protects a product consisting of several parts and yet the patent holder only puts objects on the market that encompass yet further components, and thus an actual opinion of the relevant public with regard to the protected product cannot be ascertained, the delineation between intended use and new manufacture must be based solely upon whether the technical results of the invention are reflected in precisely the replaced parts (amendment to the decision of 17 July 2012 – X ZR 97/11, GRUR 2012, 1118 – Palettenbehälter II).