RealD announced today that the European Patent Office’s Opposition Division has upheld the validity of one of the company’s key patents for light-doubling 3D cinema projection systems. Volfoni and MasterImage had both challenged the EPO’s grant of RealD’s European patent, which covers optical architectures in light-doubling 3D cinema systems.
On January 24, 2018, the EPO issued their detailed written opinion, dismissing the opposition, concluding that the patent will continue to be maintained as originally granted. As a result, the patent remains in full force.
This patent was asserted in December 2017 in the Düsseldorf District Court in which RealD filed a complaint for patent infringement against manufacturer Volfoni and distributor CinemaNext. In the complaint, RealD requested an injunction banning the sale of the alleged infringing devices and is seeking financial damages.
“RealD’s research and development efforts and the resulting award-winning products have been instrumental in the establishment and growth of the 3D cinema industry. The European Patent Office’s recent decision upholding this key patent strengthens our patent position in Europe and it once again recognizes our substantial efforts and significant investment over many years to innovate and provide the industry’s brightest, premium 3D visual experience for our partners and moviegoers around the world,” said Jeff Spain, chief financial officer at RealD.
A Volfoni spokesman could not be reached for comment.
The EPO’s ruling is the latest victory upholding and affirming the validity of RealD’s patents around the world. It follows similar wins by RealD, where the company’s patents were unsuccessfully challenged by competitors in the United States, Japan, Russia, and Australia.
“These challenges support and underline third parties’ recognition of the quality and value of our patents, and we are pleased to have the intellectual property behind our high quality systems reconfirmed by the European Patent Office,” said Neil Mothew, RealD’s vice president of intellectual property & legal affairs.