Tag Archives | Quickutz

US PTO Rejects Spellbinders’ 634 Patent Claims

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. Continue Reading →


QuicKutz Assets Bought By Investment Group

A Utah-based investor group called Lifestyle Crafts, LLC, has announced that it has entered into an agreement to buy the assets of QuicKutz, Inc.

Lifestyle Crafts, LLC. is a newly founded investor group described by the company as being made up of investors “with years of experience in manufacturing and distributing crafting goods and tools.” Its registered address is in Lindon, Utah. Principals of the company include Stephen Stewart TRUST of Farmington, UT; Daniel S. Stewart of Farmington, UT; and Hsin I. Shih of Taipei.

Both the QuicKutz and L brands will become part of Lifestyle Crafts under the terms of the asset purchase agreement.

“We’re thrilled to acquire these established brands, which have a rich history in providing the crafting market with fun and innovative products. We see a great future for both brands,” said Dan Stewart, Lifestyle Crafts CEO.

Former QuicKutz, Inc. President & CEO Eric J. Ruff says he feels positive about the future for the brands he helped create:

These brands are in good hands now, with many more resources to provide product to a growing customer base. Though I will miss my association with the company, I’m excited to see these brands thrive under new ownership.

In possibly related news, Quickutz’s attorneys in the patent violation lawsuit filed against them by Spellbinders filed a request with the court on June 11th (with the approval of QuicKutz President Eric Ruff) asking to be released from their duties in the case. The court approved the motion on June 14th and released the attorneys, leaving QuicKutz currently without counsel of record in the case since no new counsel for them has filed to be recognized by the court.

The sale of QuicKutz’s assets will likely drastically change the course of the Spellbinders patent violation lawsuit. The lawsuit is asking for several key things:

  • Stopping QuicKutz from manufacturing, promoting, and selling the allegedly infringing products
  • Damages for past infringement
  • The seizure & destruction, or turning over to Spellbinders, of infringing product inventory

QuicKutz will no longer be the legal entity that will be selling the allegedly infringing products, and with their product inventory presumably one of the assets that they sold, that is gone too from the reach of the current lawsuit. The only thing it appears might remain within the reach of the lawsuit as it currently stands against entity QuicKutz is damages for alleged past infringement by that entity.

QuicKutz recently released its first new product introduction in quite some time, but the company is not scheduled to exhibit at CHA Summer 2010.


Update on Spellbinders vs Quickutz

Recent activity in the patent infringement case that Spellbinders has filed against Quickutz indicates that the case isn’t likely to be decided any time soon, or even this year.

In January, Quickutz indicated in their court filing responded to Spellbinders’ suit that they intended to file with the US Patent & Trade Office asking for a re-evaluation of the original granting of the patent they are being sued for allegedly violating. This filing has now been accepted by the PTO, and on May 4th was assigned to an examiner by evaluation. No time frame is set for the completion of the re-examination process, which could be lengthy. If the patent were to ultimately be declared invalid, of course, then Quickutz cannot be sued for violating it. Continue Reading →


Scrapbook Update CHA Winter 2010 Predictions

Well, the show is almost upon us…many people have already arrived in Anaheim and the rest of us are frantically preparing. Here’s a last-minute look at what I predict are some trends we’ll be seeing when the doors open on Sunday:

1. It’s all about die cutting.

Die cutting, both manual and electronic will be a hot topic at this year’s show. On the manual side, new exhibitor Dies Direct is a die maker (and involved peripherally in the Spellbinders suit versus Quickutz). New exhibitor Scrapping Cottage is also an independent die maker. Sizzix is introducing hotly-anticipated dies by designer Tim Holtz. Several other companies are coming out with embossing folders that there is much buzz about.

The electronic die side is the really hot category, though. Silhouette America, formerly a division of Quickutz, is another new exhibitor. They are there to display their electronic die cutter. Craftwell – yet another new exhibitor – will also be there to display an electronic die cutter. Sizzix isn’t a new exhibitor but they have a new machine coming called the eClips. Cricut also has been teasing a major announcement, and Making Memories has new products coming for its Slice line.

2. We’re going green.

Several companies were promoting their green certifications or initiatives at CHA-Summer and that will definitely continue at CHA-Winter 2010. Everything from eco-friendly production to eco-friendly booths like the one boasted by Sandylion at CHA-Summer 2009 will be more visible. In fact, one of the new exhibitors, Eco Green Crafts, boasts that it is devoted to supplies made from “non-toxic, recycled, and environmentally-friendly materials.”

3. We’re going patriotic.

A few companies were promoting products at the last show as being “Made in the USA.” Even more companies were selling U.S.-made products but not promoting their origin heavily. As the economy has sunk further and further, Americans have become more concerned about the purchasing of foreign products. “Buy local” is becoming a serious movement. Expect to see more companies who make their products domestically using that fact in their marketing.

4. It’s all about stamping.

Stamping is hot, hot, hot! We saw the start of this in Orlando, with stamp manufacturers doing big business, scrapbook manufacturers releasing extensive collections of stamps as part of their collections, and booths like Paper Trey Ink and Split Coast Stampers attracting huge crowds at the Supershow. At least a half-dozen new exhibitors in Anaheim are stamp companies, and many traditional scrapbooking companies will be emphasizing their stamp offerings.

5. Paper is reborn as digital.

In the past several weeks, two major manufacturers have announced initiatives to sell their older paper catalog designs in digital format: BasicGrey and Die Cuts With A View. Over a dozen other companies are involved in ScrapHD, an effort under construction to sell their designs in a digital format.


Quickutz Responds to Spellbinders Suit

Friday (January 15th) was the deadline for Quickutz to file a response to the patent infringement suit filed against them by fellow die manufacturer Spellbinders. The company beat the deadline and filed a lengthy response in Federal court disputing most of the allegations made in the Spellbinders filing.

Quickutz’s 136 page filing included 124 pages of exhibits. The response is complex and aggressive, including both affirmative defenses and counter claims by Quickutz. Among the several counter claims is a challenge to the validity of the patent on which the lawsuit is based.

Key to the challenge are exhibits provided in the filing that appear to show that PMA Photometals of Arizona, Inc. sold dies covered under the patent to Quickutz before certain dates covered by the disputed patent. Also apparently held to be key by Quickutz is a statement included in the exhibits from J. Michael Dywan, president of PMA Photometals. Dywan’s statement is filed in support of several of Quickutz’s contentions that they say make the patent invalid. Despite the fact he is listed as a co-inventer on the contested patent, Dwyan does not own any interest in the patent – it is wholly owned by Spellbinders’ CEO Jeffrey James Caron. Continue Reading →