March 31, 2015

It’s no surprise that most federal judges don’t like patent lawsuits. One reason is that the lawsuits can turn on highly technical, seemingly very minor, issues. Here’s a recent example: Flexiteek v. Plasteak, a lawsuit filed in the Southern District of Florida. Flexiteek has a patent on extruded plastic planks, used for “minor” purposes like the decks of yachts. According to the court, “The plastic planks are more durable and require much less upkeep than the traditional exotic woods” used for yacht decks, etc. Apparently, according to Flexiteek’s expert, the use of multiple “longitudinal slots” on the underside of each plank, positioned “in a very tight pattern” (to help the planks be able to be glued to a deck “in a tightly curved formation only with adhesive and without use of additional fasteners”) represented the “true invention” of the patent. The Court avoided having a trial, by ruling that because the defendant sold one plank design that had only ONE slot per plank, and sold another plank design where the slots were on opposite sides of the underside of each plank, the defendant did not infringe the patent. On March 19, 2015, the Federal Circuit affirmed that quick disposal of the lawsuit…

About timheadley

For almost 30 years, as a lawyer, Tim Headley has been helping clients protect their intellectual property, according to the laws of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets, not only in the United States, but in various countries around the world. Before that, he worked as an electrical engineer. Before that, he taught theology, in Spanish, to adult students, in the evenings, in a school in La Paz, Bolivia. You can contact him at tim@headleyiplaw.com, or his office phone, 713-467-8500, or his cell phone, 713-398-1045. His website is www.headleyiplaw.com.
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