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European film patent revoked for a second time

Producer of laminating films for the graphic arts and industrial industries, TroFilms, is celebrating after a patent it opposes was revoked for a second time.

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TroFilms has been successful for a second time in its opposition of a European patent

Held by Taghleef Industries, the patent covers the use of a film for the lamination of print products, where the polyurethane-based film provides, among other things, a “soft feel”.

Taghleef Industries is a Spanish-based company which is part of the Taghleef Group and was founded following the acquisition of Spanish company Derprosa Film in April 2014.

According to TroFilms, five oppositions (including from TroFilms itself) to the patent have been filed with the European Patent Office since 2015. On April 27th this year, the patent was revoked in its entirety by the Opposition Division of the European Patent Office at an oral hearing.

In 2017, the first hearing saw the European patent of Taghleef Industries revoked due to “lack of practicability”, however this decision was later reversed in the second instance when appealed in February 2021.

Following this, the case was referred back to the first instance for further proceedings. As a result of the remittal, the patent was then again revoked in full at first instance in April 2022.

We hope that the patent proprietor will now also accept this decision of the Opposition Division of the European Patent Office

Ralf Troyer, managing director of TroFilms comments: “Patent law is a very important part of our international legal system and the necessity of accepting the associated industrial property rights is of course beyond question. However, it happens more and more frequently, especially in the graphics industry, that patents are granted which only reflect the current generally known state of the art – or in this case – whose practicability is to be assessed as questionable.

“The main problem with such patents is that they often block entire branches of industry and new and further technical developments, and historically grown and long-established production technologies become inaccessible due to their patent holder.”

For Troyer, the patent being revoked for a second time provides assurance that the company was right in its assessment of its technicians and lawyers.

“We hope that the patent proprietor will now also accept this decision of the Opposition Division of the European Patent Office,” he says, adding: “What is important is that our highly innovative market and customer-oriented product development, for which we have been known since the company was founded and which forms a main pillar of our operative business, can continue to work forward without restriction and, of course, in compliance with the law after this decision.”

SignLink has approached Taghleef Industries for comment.

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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