In an oral decision issued today, the European Patent Office (EPO) revoked European Patent No. EP 0 871 979 issued to the University of Neuchatel (the Neuchatel patent), which pertains to solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. The Neuchatel patent is the subject of a lawsuit filed in Germany by OC Oerlikon Balzers AG, Liechtenstein alleging patent infringement against an Applied Materials thin film solar customer.
Following oral proceedings held on March 31 in Berlin, Germany, the EPO panel ruled that the Neuchatel patent is invalid in its entirety and accordingly revoked the patent. The University of Neuchatel may appeal this decision to an EPO Board of Appeal.
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