U.S. Patent and Trademark Office sides with South-Tek Systems overturning U.S. Patent No. 9,186,533
WILMINGTON, NC – On January 11th, 2018, the U.S. Patent office sided with South-Tek Systems and invalidated all claims of the Engineered Corrosion Solutions (ECS) Patent Number 9,186,533 as being obvious to one of ordinary skill in the art of fire protection sprinkler systems. This means that prior art, such as publications and patents, demonstrated all of the elements that ECS claimed as an “invention”.
Prior to this decision, in July, 2016, South-Tek Systems filed a petition with the Patent Office to request an inter partes review (IPR) contending that the asserted ‘533 Patent is invalid. An IPR is a legal proceeding within the Patent Office to review the claims of an issued patent and determine whether the patent is valid. The Patent Office granted South-Tek’s petition and instituted an IPR for the ‘533 Patent. The Patent Office only grants a petition when there is a reasonable likelihood that one or more claims of the patent are invalid. In conclusion, the Patent office agreed with South-Tek Systems in that there was nothing inventive in the ‘533 Patent given what was already known in the industry.
About South-Tek Systems
South-Tek Systems was founded with the goal of designing and manufacturing the highest quality and most efficient nitrogen generators. In addition, South-Tek has always, and will always, put equal emphasis on customer support – crucial in providing the end user with seamless operation and the highest return on investment. With a strong focus on engineering, research and new product development, South-Tek was granted a patent for designing the only tunable gas purge system, and presented the 2014 NACE Corrosion Innovation of the Year Award for conducting the industry’s first sprinkler pipe corrosion study.