The Faus Group patent for its Embossed in Register R and Joint Guard R technologies was invalidated this week by the European Patent Office.
Less than two years ago Faus Group announced the issuance of European Patent No. 1 229 183 B1. This patent was issued to the innovative Spanish laminate manufacturer for its Embossed in Register R and Joint Guard Rtechnologies. Since then some manufacturers signed licenses with Faus to access this intellectual property while others claimed the patents were without warrant.
This week the European Patent Office invalidated its own patent, claiming that prior art from Pergo and Japan existed. Since Faus’s petition did not show any new technology, the patent was revoked. For an industry that has fought laminate patents almost as long as the product has been available, no one wanted another IP battle.
What impact will this change have on Faus and the laminate industry? It is assumed that this will be one less lawsuit for the industry to worry over. This move removes the potential of any liability of competitors Kronotex, Tarkett and Balterio. Unilin, a division of Mohawk Industries, and Berry had cross licenses with Faus based on their technology; however, this decision calls into question whether or not these companies can or will withdraw Faus’s access to their patented click joint.
It’s hard enough to keep up with all of the players but when the rules of the game are changed every couple of years, it makes it that much more difficult. Stay tuned and the Floor Covering Institute will try to keep you informed and up to date.
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