Elkhart, Ind.-based Lippert Components won a round in its fight with a rival maker of recreational vehicle parts on Tuesday (Sep. 24), when the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) cut down part of a patent covering a leveling system for RVs, according to an online report by Law360.com.
The board, in a final decision, said Lippert had shown in inter partes review that the challenged claims in Days Corp.’s patent are invalid because they are both anticipated and made obvious by earlier inventions. The board also refused to allow Days to amend the patent.
Days and Lippert are in-state rivals, each making leveling systems that can be used when RVs are parked on uneven ground. Their patent dispute spilled into court in March 2017, when Days filed a lawsuit in the Northern District of Indiana accusing Lippert of infringement.
In the complaint, Days also sought a court order that it did not infringe two patents that belong to Lippert unit Innovative Design Solutions (IDS). IDS quickly filed a separate lawsuit, asserting those same two patents against Days. The cases have been consolidated.
The infringement litigation has been moving ahead, parallel to the PTAB’s review of Days’ patent. U.S. District Judge Philip Simon earlier this year refused requests from Lippert and IDS to put the case on hold until the board made its decision.