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Validity of Windmöller's European clic LVT patent confirmed in appealValidity of Windmöller's European clic LVT patent confirmed in appeal2015-02-26T23:00:00Z

On February 24th, the Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office confirmed the validity of Windmöller's EP 1 938 963 B1,  thereby overturning the previous negative first instance decision. No further appeal is possible. The EP '963 patent, as confirmed in appeal, has a broad scope of protection since it can be paraphrased as protecting a layered clic LVT plank made out of PVC, between 4 and 8 mm thickness.  Similar patent protection is already granted in the US. Different aspects of the LVT technology are protected by related patent applications which are still pending in Europe and the US.

 

Early in 2010, Ulrich Windmöller Consulting GmbH, the owner of the above-mentioned EP '963, entered into a strategic patent partnership with Flooring Industries, Unilin's Intellectual Property company, whereby Flooring Industries obtained the exclusive right to sublicense Windmöller Consulting's LVT patent rights. As a consequence, several of Flooring Industries' LVT licensees entered into a contract whereby they obtained additional protection on Windmöller's European and US clic LVT patent portfolio. 

 

"We are very happy with this decision from the Board of Appeal", states Ulrich Windmöller, the owner of Windmöller Consulting GmbH and the man behind the inventions covered by the above patents. "In 2006-2007, we invested a lot of energy in the development and patenting process for this technology.  It is good to see that, after our introduction of clic LVT in 2008, clic LVT became an important category in the flooring industry. This positive patent decision by the Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office will be the start of an active enforcement campaign against the companies in Europe and the US who are trying to enjoy the growth of this new category, without respecting our intellectual property portfolio."

 

Flooring Industries will remain the exclusive licensing agent of Windmöller's clic LVT patent portfolio and is inviting all clic LVT producers and distributors to discuss the potential consequences of this important decision to their respective LVT business. Flooring Industries will be present at Domotex Shanghai from the 24th until the 26th of March in Hall E5, stand C20.

 

 

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