ExtractionTek Stainless (ETS), announced the institution of one of three inter partes review (IPRs) petition filings with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Institution is based on a reasonable likelihood that at least one of the claims challenged in the IPR petition is unpatentable. The institution of the first IPR starts a one-year clock for the PTAB to evaluate the claims in the patent in question and either confirm their validity or invalidate the claims and possibly the entire patent.
ETS filed the IPRs to sell their closed-loop extraction equipment to customers without fear of so-called “patent troll” retribution. Halo Collective Inc. HCANF, an ETS client, has already had its subsidiaries Coastal Harvest, LLC, and ANM, Inc. subjected to a patent infringement lawsuit from Gene Pool Technologies filed August 2021. While ETS itself is not the subject of an infringement lawsuit, it moves to invalidate these three patents in order to protect the industry at large and to ensure its customers, and anyone buying or selling closed-loop equipment, are free from patent litigation.
“We ourselves are not being sued,” explains ETS founder and CEO Matthew Ellis. “But we can only imagine how many smaller companies are subject to these kinds of threats. Our client Halo has been challenged with two suits, and we felt we needed to wade into this situation in order to stop capricious and cynical actions like this from becoming the norm. We’re alarmed to learn of a Santa Clara University study finding that 61% of patent lawsuits are brought by such patent assertion entities as Gene Pool; that number was only 16% in 2006. Someone has to stand up to them, and this time that someone is us.”
ETS so far has spent over $250,000 defending Gene Pool’s litigation. The first IPR has been instituted and ETS expects the other two IPRs will be instituted as well.
“Patent assertion entities frame their aggression as an opportunity to do business with them, effectively suggesting that you can license patents if you give them their shakedown money,” continued Ellis. “We can’t let that happen.”
Photo: Benzinga; Sources: courtesy of AJEL, lindsayfox via Pixabay
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