During the search and examination stages, prior art was found by the European Patent Office (EPO), which would potentially block the grant of the applications unless the focus of the claims could be changed. Laura needed to overcome the objections from the EPO while keeping in touch with the commercial aims of Isansys as an early stage company.
Laura had to discuss frankly with Isansys what could reasonably be achieved in terms of the scope of patent protection. The original claims to the sensor structure were redirected to a refurbishment method, which actually has large commercial value for Isansys in terms of protecting their revenues from service contracts rather than one-off product sales. Laura worked closely with Isansys to decide how best to amend the claims made in the original applications, while at the same time arguing that the invention superseded the prior art found by the EPO.
Over a number of years, there was much discussion and interaction with both the client and the EPO, and at times it appeared as though the applications would not be allowed, despite Laura’s best efforts and the significant investment made by Isansys into the patent process.
However, through perseverance, and the robustness of her arguments, Isansys had two European patents granted in August and December 2017. These European patent rights protect the Lifetouch sensor hardware and software, as well as sensor refurbishment.
On behalf of Isansys, Laura replicated suitable amendments and arguments for the two pending applications in the US. As expected there were a number of objections which arose at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which Laura dealt with, and we are now anticipating a positive outcome in 2018. Isansys is looking to enter the US market and this would be an important confidence boost to have US patents issued in its name.
Keith Errey | CEO
Isansys Lifecare Limited