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Appeal Proceedings on European VisionBlue Patent Stayed; Patent Remains in Force
Date:5/20/2009

ZUIDLAND, The Netherlands, May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The Technical Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office has postponed its final decision on two appeals lodged by two competitors against an earlier decision to maintain the European patent for VisionBlue.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090520/347917-a )

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090520/317917-b )

Introduced in 1999, the VisionBlue product is protected by US patent US 6,720,314 and European patent EP 1 075 285. However, after the European Patent was granted, three European manufacturers of copy cat products started opposition proceedings against the European Patent. The result of these proceedings was that the patent was maintained, after which two of the opponents appealed from the decision.

The Technical Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office decided during a hearing in Munich on the 14th of May 2009 to await the answers to legal questions concerning the patentability of medical treatments before coming to a final decision on the validity of the patent. These answers from the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office are expected at the latest in January 2010.

Requests of the opponents to deal with their objections for lack of novelty and inventive step before the proceedings were stayed, were rejected. They argued that the patent should be revoked on these grounds and that therefore a stay of the proceedings would not be necessary. D.O.R.C. believes that the rejection of these requests is a strong indication that the Board of Appeal expects to confirm the validity of the patent once the answers to the legal questions have clarified that features of a medical treatment can be used to define pate
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SOURCE D.O.R.C. International b.v.
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