Printing Industries of America filed petitions last week with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in an effort to nullify two digital workflow patents that have been the basis for lawsuits against printing companies. The petitions seek an inter partes review by the USPTO of the patents’ validity.
The patent owner has aggressively sought licensing fees from dozens of printing companies and has sued many of them for infringement. The patents broadly address methods for receiving customer files, using a computer network to perform various prepress functions, and creating a plate-ready PDF file.
“We’re not going to stand by and let a patent troll intimidate our members into paying unnecessary licensing fees,” says Michael Makin, Printing Industries of America’s president and CEO. “The patents should never have been granted, since the claims were obviously based on prior patents and published documents. I hope this action will give our members the upper hand in fighting these frivolous lawsuits and causes the patent owner to discontinue its licensing campaign.”
Should the petitions be accepted, the subsequent review by USPTO is expected to take 12 months.
Printing Industries of America has also mobilized its lobbying efforts in Congress in support of legislation to combat patent troll activity. It is providing ongoing input into legislative discussion drafts on patent reform currently under way at the House and Senate Judiciary Committees and recently visited with Congressional leaders to share its concerns about the severe impact on industry firms caused by patent troll activity.