The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has issued a non-final ruling in the Ex Parte Reexamination that is being done of Spellbinders’ “634 patent” at the request of QuicKutz.
Spellbinders is currently suing (the entity formerly known as) QuicKutz for violating the ‘634 patent, and QuicKutz requested the PTO conduct the Reexamination because it contends that Spellbinders should not have been granted the patent based on the original application. Of course, no valid patent would equal no grounds for Spellbinders to sue QuicKutz on, and the lawsuit would be over. The Ex Parte Reexamination essentially completely reevaluates the granting of the patent from the beginning, taking into account this time additional evidence provided to the PTO (in this case by QuicKutz) regarding the matter.
The results of the Reexamination were not supportive of Spellbinders’ patent at all. The patent was initially awarded on the basis of 47 claims made by Spellbinders. In the Reexamination, all 47 claims were rejected, leaving no grounds to support the patent for Spellbinders.
This ruling is non-final, however. Spellbinders has two months from the issue date of the ruling (Oct. 22nd) to respond to the PTO action and support their right to the ‘634 patent by refuting the rejections of the claims or offering new grounds (claims) in support of the patent.
Eric Ruff, President of QK2015 (the actual current name of the company being sued by Spellbinders since the QuicKutz trademark was sold to Lifestyle Crafts earlier this year), told Scrapbook Update about the ruling, “I am very pleased that the USPTO has come down hard and strong so quickly against Spellbinders’ claims.”
Spellbinders issued the following statement in response to the PTO action:
Spellbinders stands firmly by its innovative products and patents that continue to revolutionize the paper crafting industry. In recognition of the advancements pioneered by our founders, the company affirms its existing patent protection. We look forward to continuing our history of product ingenuity by revealing new products at Winter CHA 2011!
Lifestyle Crafts, which now owns the QuicKutz trademark and the product lines which are at issue in the suit, is not a party to the lawsuit or patent re-examination and its representative said it had no comment on the ruling.