SNC Fibers case study

Successful revocation of a patent on behalf of a South African manufacturer of nanofiber products.


We represented Stellenbosch Nanofiber Company (SNC Fibers), a South African organisation that specialises in the manufacture of advanced biomedical nanofiber materials on a commercial scale.


The matter

After being referred by their South African IP adviser, Appleyard Lees was instructed to file an opposition on behalf of SNC Fibers against a European patent that related to nanofibers in hyaluronic acid for use in cosmetic products.


The outcome

Appleyard Lees Partner and lead attorney on this matter, Bobby Smithson, submitted an opposition against the patent at the EPO on behalf of SNC Fibers. The patentee responded and various further submissions on behalf of both parties were prepared and filed.

During a lengthy video conference hearing, which was attended virtually by SNC Fibers in South Africa, Bobby was successful in having the patent revoked. During the hearing, Bobby and technical experts from SNC Fibers in South Africa were engaged in a simultaneous live group chat, which was invaluable in assisting the course of the proceedings.


Our distinctive service

When handling oppositions, it is critical to have a deep understanding of a client’s business and wider IP portfolio. COVID-19 has presented additional challenges in this regard, however with SNC Fibers we have leveraged the opportunity for more efficient communication and contact. An emphasis on virtual communication has enabled us to offer an increasingly tailored experience, with added efficiency and flexibility.


Visit our dedicated oppositions page, for more insight on patent oppositions.

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