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Knobbe Martens Secures Victory on Behalf of Client STAR EnviroTech Inc.; Patent Trial and Appeal Board Confirms Patentability of Evaporative Emission Testing Tools

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP successfully defended client STAR EnviroTech, Inc. against competitor Redline Detection, LLC. In early 2013, Redline filed a petition for inter partes review with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board challenging the claims of one of STAR’s patents for its evaporative emission testing tools. In an exceptional result (based on current statistics), the Board upheld the patentability of the challenged claims, resulting in a complete victory for STAR and the Knobbe Martens legal team.

STAR designs and develops tools for testing vehicle evaporative emission control systems. STAR’s tools are mandated for use by many leading automobile manufacturers, including GM, Ford and Chrysler. Based on the arguments and prior art set forth in Redline’s petition, the Board initially determined that Redline had demonstrated a reasonable likelihood of proving that at least one of STAR’s patent claims was unpatentable. However, as a result of STAR’s persuasive evidence and arguments submitted during the 18-month-long inter partes review proceeding, Knobbe Martens was able to successfully defend STAR’s patent.

“We are very pleased with the Board’s decision and the recognition of STAR as a leading innovator,” stated Ed Schlatter, Knobbe Martens partner and lead IPR counsel for STAR. “That Knobbe Martens was able to secure a complete victory for a patent owner facing one of the early inter partes review challenges was gratifying; and to do so for our longtime client STAR was all the more rewarding.” Partners Brent Babcock and Jared Bunker joined Schlatter in representing STAR, with Babcock arguing the case before the Board. 

Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs) are new proceedings recently created by Congress as part of the America Invents Act (AIA).  Current statistics indicate that a substantial majority of patents challenged in IPR proceedings have at least some, if not most, claims cancelled and/or amended. There have been only a small percentage of patents that have survived an IPR with all claims intact.

With over 275 lawyers and scientists nationwide, Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP dedicates its practice to all aspects of intellectual property law, including post-grant review proceedings before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Consistently ranked among the top intellectual property firms worldwide, Knobbe Martens serves a diverse group of clients from multinational corporations to emerging businesses of all stages.  Headquartered in Orange County, California, Knobbe Martens also has offices in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Seattle and Washington, D.C.  More information about the firm can be found at www.knobbe.com.

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