TroFilms again successful in patent opposition proceedings
Georgensgmünd, 16 May 2022 – TroFilms GmbH, based in Georgensgmünd in Germany, a medium-sized, globally operating specialist in high-quality special laminating films for the graphic arts and industrial laminating industries, has scored another success with its opposition to a European patent held by Taghleef Industries S. L. for films used in the lamination of printed products.
At an oral hearing on 27 April 2022, the European Patent EP 2 399 741 of Taghleef Industries S.L., a Spanish-based company of the Taghleef Group (Dubai), which emerged from the acquisition of the Spanish Derprosa Film in April 2014, was revoked in its entirety by the Opposition Division of the European Patent Office.
European Patent EP 2 399 741 covers the use of a film for the lamination of print products, whereby the polyurethane-based film provides, among other things, a soft feel. This patent was apparently troublesome for a number of competitors and a total of five oppositions were filed with the European Patent Office as early as 2015. One of the opposing parties was TroFilms GmbH, represented by the law firm Müller Schupfner & Partner (Munich).
In the first hearing in 2017, the European patent of Taghleef Industries S. L. was revoked in its entirety due to lack of practicability. This decision was then reversed in the second instance (appeal instance) in February 2021 and the case was referred back to the first instance for further proceedings. Following the remittal, the European patent of Taghleef Industries S. L. was again revoked in full at first instance in April 2022.
Ralf Troyer, Managing Director of TroFilms GmbH, commented on the opposition proceedings: "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 - as 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." Ralf Troyer continues: "In the present case concerning the production of laminating films with soft surface properties, we were not the only company that, on the basis of the European patent EP 2 399 741 of Taghleef Industries S. L., felt obliged to make use of the given right of opposition and to have this patent officially re-examined with regard to form and legality."
Ralf Troyer concludes: "The fact that we have now had our conviction about our opposition confirmed for the second time in the first instance gives us confidence that we were absolutely right in our assessment of our technicians and lawyers, and we hope that the patent proprietor will now also accept this decision of the Opposition Division of the European Patent Office. 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."
It remains to be seen whether the patent holder will now have this decision reviewed again on appeal. A further appeal instance is likely to take another few years.
Further information at: www.trofilms.de
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About TroFilms GmbH:
The medium-sized TroFilms GmbH, which is based in Georgensgmünd in Germany, is established as a renowned and innovative manufacturer of laminating films for the graphic arts and industrial lamination industry. The company currently sells its products in 28 countries and has a well-developed dealer and sales network worldwide. The successful development of the company earned it several prestigious awards. Among other things, the Founder's Award as the best "Start UP" company, which is awarded by the Sparkasse in Middle Franconia, and the Founder's Award by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In 2014, TroFilms GmbH was also nominated for the German Founder Award. Since August 2019 TroFilms GmbH is certified according to DIN EN ISO 9001 : 2015. TroFilms does not compete with any of its customers, since it does not process any goods itself.