The European Patent Office Board of Appeals has overturned a patent held by 3D Systems relating to resins used in stereolithography. Titled "UV Curable Compositions," the patent involves a process for preparing UV-curable compositions and their uses.
Royal DSM appealed patent EP1232198, which states, "The compositions contain: a) at least one oxetane compound; b) at least one polyfunctional cycloaliphatic epoxy compound; c) at least one multifunctional hydroxy compound; and d) at least one curing agent."
Royal DSM, which bills itself as "a global life sciences and materials sciences company," is headquartered in the Netherlands and maintains offices in Elgin, Ill. The company offers a range of SLA materials – photopolymer liquid resins which solidify when exposed to UV light.
SLA is often used to make to make prototypes in everything from the medical industry to car manufacturing because of the high level of accuracy it offers.
Royal DSM is hailing the victory as a move to preserve development opportunities in the field.
"We're pleased with the outcome as it encourages innovation in the area of photopolymers for stereolithography," DSM Somos Business Director Melissa Hayes said. "We continue to focus on delivering the best materials to fit the industry and our customers' needs."