The judge assigned to the lawsuit that Spellbinders has filed against the entity that used to be QuicKutz has issued a stay in the case, pending the outcome of the ‘634 patent reexam that is currently underway at the U.S PTO. Since the ‘634 patent is the patent that Spellbinders is suing Quickutz for allegedly violating, invalidating the patent in the reexam would remove the grounds for the lawsuit.
The stay ceases activity in the case until the patent reexam is completed. The attorneys for the two sides had been engaged in the pre-trial discovery process, which was scheduled to last into summer 2011.
On October 22nd, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office ruled in a non-final reexam against Spellbinders‘ basis for holding the patent on all 47 of the company’s original claims. The company has two months from the date of that ruling to file a response to the arguments against their 47 claims, or presenting new claims supporting the patent.
The judge’s stated basis for issuing the stay was, in part, that he presumes (based on the total rejection of the claims supporting the patent’s granting in the non-final ruling) that at least some of the claims supporting the ownership of the patent will be rejected, which he says will simplify the case.
The QuicKutz trademark is now owned by Lifestyle Crafts, who is not party to the suit filed by Spellbinders. The entity that is the target of the lawsuit is now called QK 2015, since the QuicKutz trademark was sold to Lifestyle Crafts.
QK 2015 president Eric Ruff issued this statement to Scrapbook Update about this latest ruling in the case:
I’m pleased with the judge’s decision to stay this litigation. This helps stop the needless bleeding and harm that this lawsuit caused QuicKutz. And I’m glad that, in rejecting all the Spellbinders claims, the Patent Office has validated our position. I only wish we could have reached this point a long time ago.
A representative for Spellbinders told Scrapbook Update that the company has no comment on the latest development in the case.