The German patent office in Munich has determined that Zenon Environmental, Inc. inappropriately extended its claims during its intellectual property filings and, as a result, turned down the legal basis for Zenon’s lawsuit against Koch Membrane Systems GmbH.
Three utility models – derived from Zenon’s major membrane module patent family, which also includes several U.S. and EP patents – have been cancelled or significantly restricted.
Patent authorities agreed with Koch Membrane Systems that Zenon claimed major parts of the PURON™ MBR technology by illegally applying non-allowable extensions during the IP filing history. In addition, Koch Membrane Systems argued successfully via introduction of prior art, that Zenon did not show the uniqueness required to support its IP claims.
"We are very pleased with this resounding judgment by the patent office," said Stefan Schaefer, managing director of Koch Membrane Systems GmbH. "This significant victory clarifies our right to offer this exciting new technology. MBRs are rapidly becoming the technology of choice for waste water treatment for a wide range of applications."
The PURON MBR technology represents the next generation of membrane bioreactors and offers numerous advantages including operational benefits and energy savings compared to competing technologies.