On March 30, the Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office (EPO) in Munich decided to reject the appeal of B. Braun Melsungen AG (“B.Braun”) against the decision of the Opposition Division dated April 1st 2009. The March 30th judgement implies that the initial decision of the Opposition Division, revoking B. Braun’s EP 1 363 690 B9 on a protective device for a hypodermic needle remains valid and becomes final.
In 2006 B.Braun started legal proceedings against Terumo Europe N.V. (Terumo) in Belgium, Terumo Deutschland GmbH in Germany and Delta Med Srl in Germany and Italy accusing Terumo and Delta Med of infringement of EP 1 363 690 B9. On their turn, Terumo and Delta Med filed an opposition with the EPO in Munich to request revocation of B. Braun’s patent.
“Terumo very much welcomes the decision of the Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office,” said Mr. Ninomiya, President and CEO of Terumo Europe N.V. “This decision also makes clear that patents, in order to be valid, must follow the EPO rules and must comply with several formal requirements. In this case, B. Braun failed to abide by the requirements not to amend an European patent application containing subject matter which extends beyond the content of the application as filed”.
“In view of enhancing the safety of health care professionals, we are happy our customers can now purchase a legitimate alternative to B. Braun’s safety catheter without any restrictions”, concluded Mr. Ninomiya.
Tokyo-based Terumo Corporation is one of the world’s leading medical device manufacturers with $3.0 billion in sales and operations in more than 160 nations. Founded in 1921, the company develops, manufacturers and distributes world-class medical devices including products for use in cardiothoracic surgery, interventional procedures, transfusion medicine and diabetes management; the company also manufactures a broad array of blood collection systems and needles and syringes for intravenous therapy.
In 1971 Terumo Corporation founded its European headquarters in Leuven, Belgium. Today, Terumo sells over 6000 quality medical products in Europe through an extensive network of local subsidiaries and business partners. European sales exceed € 400 million (FY10). For information on our European operations, please visit www.terumo-europe.com