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lufthansa us8216392 and Gas T. E. us7445677 is very close to eachother and I assume there is an infringment. If you search lufthansa cyclean pictures and patent drawing of us7445677 you will see that it is almost same. I know drawing doesnt mean patent but claims are also very similar. So I think that Lufthansa or GTE infringing or there is a licence agreement between them.

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Interesting thing about these two patents is that the '392 patent was filed first - giving it the priority date, but the '677 patent was examined first because the applicant filed a request for accelerated examination. This becomes tricky because the first-filed application does not become prior art until it publishes. However, once it publishes it will count as prior art as of its priority filing date. Here, the owners of the '677 patent were able to slip through the PTO without consideration of the earlier patent because the accelerated examination was completed prior to the publication of the '392 patent.

If the '677 patent is ever enforced, the '392 patent will probably be the first-line of defense in an invalidation campaign.

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  • After a quick search I found that 392 patent was filed on 16.03.2007 to EPO so there is no way that uspto examiner could see 392 patent at any database until it was published. If I am wrong please correct me.
    – Tarik Mete
    Jan 15, 2013 at 12:00
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Just to be clear - patents can not infringe patents. Products being made, sold used, or imported can infringe patents.

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