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TWI's successful defence of the patent for Clearweld technology

Connect, no. 151, November/December 2007, p.7

TWI is happy to announce, that after four years of written legal and technical arguments, an all-day hearing at the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich found in TWI's favour and reinstated the European patent for the Clearweld® process, EP1117502, in full.

The patent claims the use of radiation absorbing materials for the laser welding of plastics. Four years ago the patent, which had been granted in Europe, was opposed by eight organisations and in February 2005, following a hearing, the patent was revoked. TWI, with the support of our licensee Gentex Corp., filed an appeal with the EPO.

Thus began a legal process cumulating, on the 13 of September this year, in an all day hearing at the EPO that consisted of an intensive debate of the technical and legal facts in front of a three-member board and against attorneys and technical representation from representatives of the opponents.

The board found in TWI's favour on all aspects of the case and re-instated the patent in its entirety. This overwhelming success can be attributed to the hard work of our attorneys Gill, Jennings & Every, our licensee GentexCorp, and the TWI team in particular Laura Barrett, Ian Jones and Marcus Warwick.

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