Freedom to Operate for Puritan: Irrevocable Withdrawal of Inspection Proceedings by Copan - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Freedom to Operate for Puritan: Irrevocable Withdrawal of Inspection Proceedings by Copan

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Copans attack was blown away by the District Court Dusseldorf.

Guilford, ME (PRWEB) July 17, 2014

At an oral hearing on June 24, 2014 (case no. 4b 176/12), the Court made clear that Puritans HydraFlock® and PurFlock Ultra® flocked swab products are flocked differently and do not have Copans claimed fiber arrangement.

In addition, the Dusseldorf Court, often considered the most important European court for enforcement of patent rights, ordered Copan to reimburse Puritan for all attorney fees incurred under applicable German law with respect to the inspection proceedings Copan brought against Puritan.

The Details
Copan Italia S.p.A. started inspection proceedings (case no. 4b 176/12) against Puritan Medical Products Co., LLC on November 7, 2012, based on an alleged infringement of claim 1 of German utility model DE 20 2004 021 787.(1) Claim 1 relates to flocked swabs and requires that the swabs be covered with fiber deposited by flocking in an ordered arrangement normal to the surface of the swab.

The Dusseldorf Court made clear at the hearing that Puritans HydraFlock® and PurFlock Ultra® flocked swabs are flocked differently and do not have fibers in an ordered arrangement normal to the surface of the swab as claimed in claim 1 of the 787.

The Courts findings are particularly relevant since the asserted 787 utility model is a branch-off from Copans European patent EP 1 608 268 B1 relating to the same invention which also requires fibers deposited by flocking in an ordered arrangement of the fibers normal to the surface of the swab.(2) Thus, it can be concluded from the Courts clear position regarding the 787 that Puritans HydraFlock® and PurFlock Ultra® flocked swabs are also outside the scope of Copans European patent.

In light of the clear position expressed by the Court, Copan irrevocably withdrew the inspection proceedings against Puritan. In addition, the Court ordered that Copan must reimburse Puritan for all attorney fees incurred under applicable German law with respect to the inspection proceedings.

All of Copans German utility models relating to flocked swabs(3) expired at the end of March 2014 and are irrelevant for sales from that date forward. Therefore, Puritan and Puritans customers have unprejudiced freedom to sell Puritans HydraFlock® and PurFlock Ultra® flocked swabs in Europe without concern for Copans European patent or expired utility models.

Puritan Medical Products Co., LLC, is an American company known worldwide as the trusted manufacturer of single-use products for the healthcare, diagnostic, forensic, critical environment, food safety, and drug manufacturing industries.
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1) German utility models can provide rights similar to patent rights except legal proceedings may begin before a patent office examiner ever looks at the substance of the utility model for validity. That is what happened here.

2) The EP patent was challenged in Opposition Proceedings at the European Patent Office. The Opposition Division significantly narrowed the scope of the patent from what had originally been granted. An appeal to further narrow or completely invalidate the patent is pending.

3) DE 202004021787 U1; DE 202004021930 U1; DE 202004021932 U1.

Media Contact
Timothy Templet
Puritan Medical Products
sales(at)puritanmedproducts(dot)com
+1.207.876.3311

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/puritan-flocked-swabs/not-violating-copan-paten/prweb12021169.htm

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