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Author Topic:   BriakTek U.S. Patent Found Invalid
jimh posted 12-07-2014 08:06 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
BriakTek is a company that owned US Patent No. 7,991,380, granted c.2006. They were actively defending their rights in the patent and asserting claims that other manufacturers of emergency locating devices were infringing.

DeLorme, a company in Maine, brought action against BriakTek, asserting that the patent was invalid.

On November 19, 2014 the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued a decision in the case, finding that DeLorme was not infringing and the BriarTek patent was invalid. The actual court document is found at 20141119-174-Mem-Op-Grant-MSJ.pdf

The court found a great deal of prior art in the field which rendered the BriarTek patent invalid. Devices available in 1986 were found to incorporate elements of the patented method claimed by BriarTek.

The decision also found "all the asserted claims" of BriarTek "to be invalid as a matter of law over the prior art, either as anticipated or obvious."

This sound to me like a victory for manufacturers that are actually making useful marine distress alerting products over companies merely holding patents with very broad claims and making and selling almost no products.

jimh posted 12-07-2014 08:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The law firm representing DeLorme summarized the court's findings:

On November 19, 2014, Judge Leonie Brinkema, of the Eastern District of Virginia, entered summary judgment in favor of DeLorme Publishing Company and DeLorme inReach LLC, represented by Peter J. Brann, David Swetnam–Burland, and Stacy O. Stitham, in a long–running patent dispute with BriarTek IP, Inc. After BriarTek asserted that DeLorme’s popular inReach devices infringed its patent, DeLorme filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a ruling that BriarTek’s patent was invalid and that DeLorme did not infringe it. In her order, Judge Brinkema concluded that the BriarTek patent is invalid because the patent’s claims were anticipated and made obvious by prior art cited by DeLorme in its summary judgment motion.

Cf.: delorme-wins-summary-judgment-invalidating-patent/

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