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COPYCAT INFRINGING DEVICES: THERMO FISHER SCIENTIFIC, INC

In a nutshell: Defending a product that has proved to be a huge commercial success since its launch, and since encouraged a rash of unauthorised imitations to be brought unlawfully into Europe. Many of these are of very poor quality.

The task: Initially, the patent was found to lack an inventive step. With a minor amendment, the patent was maintained in amended form. Both the Opponent and the Patentee appealed. We sought the setting aside of the initial decision so that the patent could be maintained in the form as granted.

Result: In view of the commercial importance of the product, and the number of copycat infringing devices arriving in Europe, the Board of Appeal agreed to accelerate the Appeal. At the hearing the Board agreed with every point we raised, and found the claim as granted by the Examining Division to be both novel and inventive.