Thin film patent spat; first round goes to Applied Materials and customer

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Applied Materials has claimed that the European Patent Office (EPO) has revoked a Patent No. EP 0 871 979, which is at the centre of a patent infringement case Oerlikon filed in June, 2008 in the German District Court of Duesseldorf, against SunFilm AG, a customer of Applied Materials ‘SunFab’ thin film technology and production line equipment.

The EPO panel ruled that the patent was invalid in its entirety, though Oerlikon can appeal the ruling. Oerlikon had licensed patents from IMT, University of Neuchatel, Switzerland. The company has yet to officially respond to the EPO ruling.

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