Attorney Scott D. Smiley Takes Patent-Infringement Case to Supreme Court

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Attorney Scott D. Smiley, of The Concept Law Group, files appeal in Supreme Court in patent-infringement case.

Scott D. Smiley

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Registered patent attorney Scott D. Smiley, founder of The Concept Law Group, recently filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court of the United States (Case No. 16-108) on behalf of a client alleging patent infringement. According to court documents, Smiley’s client, Automated Creel Systems (ACS), a small Georgia company, is the owner of U.S. Patent No. 7,806,360 (“the '360 Patent”). The patent relates to “creels,” which are devices that supply yarn and other stranded materials to a manufacturing process for making carpet, among other things. ACS’s invention is a revolutionary supply system that allows creels to be loaded in a way that is safe and can be run continuously without needing to be stopped each time new reels of material are loaded, which was a major improvement over existing creels.

According to court documents, ACS’s president, David Chadwick, allegedly met with Shaw Industries Group, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer and a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., and presented the company with drawings of ACS’s new design. Court documents further allege that at the meeting, Shaw asked to keep a copy of the ACS drawings, but ACS declined the request and, afterward, engaged legal counsel for the purpose of securing a patent on its design.

Court documents also state that Shaw later allegedly visited ACS to inspect its creel “cart-to-cart transfer system” prototype and one of Shaw’s employees allegedly took pictures of it on his mobile phone. Soon after that meeting, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued the ‘360 Patent. Shortly thereafter, according to court documents, ACS was notified by numerous individuals that Shaw had allegedly built the system described by the '360 Patent and began using it, without ACS’s permission, to manufacture the carpet it sells throughout the United States and worldwide.

Court documents further allege that ACS notified Shaw of its patent and demanded Shaw cease its infringing activity. However, a representative of Shaw allegedly informed ACS that if Shaw spent enough money, its legal team would “break” ACS’s patent. For the past 3.5 years, according to court documents, Shaw has been challenging the ‘360 Patent within the USPTO. The principal question the Supreme Court has been asked to decide is whether Shaw waited too long to challenge ACS’s patent.

About Scott D. Smiley, The Concept Law Group
Scott D. Smiley was named one of 2016’s “Super Lawyers” by Super Lawyers magazine and “Legal Elite” by Florida Trend magazine. Scott specializes in patent applications, trademark applications, and intellectual property litigation. For more information, please call (754) 300-1500, or visit The Concept Law Group is located at 200 S. Andrews Ave., Suite 100, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301.

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