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Coffee maker loses $33m lawsuit against Saudi retailer

Saudi retailer court claim BinDawood Holding
BinDawood's supermarket subsidiary Danube has defended itself against Arab Dalla's patent claims
  • Compensation claim against BinDawood subsidiary rejected by court
  • Danube accused of patent infringement by coffee-machine maker
  • Arab Dalla machine designed to create traditional Arabic coffee taste

Jeddah Commercial Court has rejected a SAR124 million ($33 million) compensation claim by coffee-machine maker Arab Dalla against the Danube supermarket chain.

Danube’s owner BinDawood Holding Co said in a filing to the Saudi Stock Exchange that claims by Arab Dalla that it had violated a patent were rejected.

A SAR300,000 claim for legal fees has also been thrown out.

Arab Dalla, which was founded in 2011 and created a coffee maker to simulate the traditional way of preparing Arabic coffee, brought the patent infringement case against Danube in early 2021.

No further details about the case were disclosed, but BinDawood said it is planning to “protect the interests of the company and its shareholders” by filing a countersuit against Arab Dalla to seek compensation for the “material and moral damages” suffered as a result of the lawsuit. 

Arab Dalla said: “We don’t consider that we lost this lawsuit، We are still optimistic to win. We didn’t reach the final line yet, we have many options beside the Supreme Court.

“We trust intellectual property procedures in the kingdom, that’s why we keep moving to claim our intellectual property.”

BinDawood, which went public in 2020, manages the BinDawood and Danube retail brands across 85 hypermarkets, supermarkets and express stores in major cities across Saudi Arabia and employs 10,000 people, according to its website.

In September, it launched its first supermarket outside Saudi Arabia in Bahrain.

It reported a 17.5 percent year-on-year rise in revenue to SAR1.38 billion in the first quarter of 2023, boosted by spending by Umrah pilgrims at its stores in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

Q1 net profit fell by 21.3 percent to SAR51.5 million compared to Q1 2022, when the company received a rental relief of SAR17.1 million.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has announced approval of the Civil Transactions Law.

The law aims to boost the business landscape by ensuring property protection, stability of contracts, determination of the sources of rights and liabilities and clarity of legal positions, according to the Saudi Press Agency.