Nelson Products, Inc. Announces Favorable Decisions in the Inter Partes Review Challenging Bal Seal’s Patents

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Fish & Tsang LLP: The PTAB decision represents a major win for the small, family-owned business.

Spring manufacturer Nelson Products, Inc. (NPI) announced today that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a final decision on September 24, 2015 in an inter partes review proceeding (IPR) NPI initiated against a Bal Seal Engineering, Inc. (Bal Seal) patent – U.S. Patent No. 8,297,662 (the ‘662 patent). (Court of Record: PTAB; Case number: IPR2014-00572).

The PTAB found each of the challenged claims of the ‘662 patent as invalid over the cited prior art, which included one of Bal Seal’s own prior patent applications. The PTAB decision is subject to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

NPI initiated IPR proceedings against the ‘662 patent and U.S. Patent 8,375,543 (the ‘543 patent) in response to a federal district court action Bal Seal filed against NPI in December 2013 for indirect infringement of the patents. Bal Seal asked the PTAB to enter judgment against the ‘543 patent just before oral argument, but allowed the IPR for the ‘662 patent to proceed to a final written decision. In the final written decision, the PTAB sided with NPI on both of NPI’s invalidity arguments, striking down all the challenged claims.

“We made a tough decision to spend the time and money to fight back. This win represents a major victory for our small company. We are happy we fought back,” said company president Carl Nelson.

NPI is represented by intellectual property law firm Fish & Tsang LLP, which has offices in Irvine, CA and Silicon Valley, CA.

About NPI
Nelson Products, Inc. is a small, family-owned manufacturer of canted coil springs for commercial applications based in Golden, Colorado. NPI manufactures a complete line of spring energizers for use in seals and other components where predictable and reliable loads are required. For more information on NPI, visit http://www.npisprings.com.

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Beau Walker

Carl Nelson