In Confident Open Letter, RPI Updates Customers on Remediation Patent Suit

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In a previous post, I wrote about a patent dispute over BOS 100, a reactant used in groundwater remediation that removes chlorine from chlorinated contaminants.  There are two lawsuits involving this technology, both pending in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina in Charlotte. 

In the first suit, Remediation Products, Inc. (RPI), a Golden, Colorado company that makes and sells the BOS 100 product, sued Adventus Americas, Inc. (Adventus) and EnviroMetal Technologies, Inc. (ETI), requesting a declaratory judgment that the BOS 100 does not infringe U.S. Patents Nos. 5,266,213 (‘213 patent) and 5,534,154 (‘154 patent) and that the patents are invalid (rpi_complaint.pdf).

In the second suit, ETI, the exclusive licensee of several groundwater remediation patents including the ‘213 and ‘154 patents, along with Adventus (the sub-licensee of the patents), sued AST Environmental, Inc.  and Calgon Carbon Corp. (collectively “Defendants”), alleging infringement of six of the licensed patents.

According to the complaint (adventus_complaint.pdf), Defendants are infringing the patents by making and selling BOS 100.

Last month, RPI put out an open letter to its customers to provide an update on its lawsuit aginst Adventus and ETI.  The letter (rpi-letter-to-customers.pdf) states that RPI is also seeking a declaratory judgment of non-infringement of four patents relating to a combination of fibrous organic matter and a multi-valent metal which were asserted by Adventus and ETI.

The letter reports that the court has issued a claim construction order in the case and notes that the claim term “body of metal” was interpreted (rpi_claims_clarification.pdf) to exclude anything other than metal particles:

The Court previously construed the term “body of metal” to mean “a collection of particles of metal into an amount.”  The Court clearly did not include anything other than metal in its construction of the term.  To the extent that the term needs to be clarified, the Court finds that the body of metal does not include anything other than metal particles.  (internal citations omitted)

According to the letter, this interpretation contradicts a position taken by ETI in its 2005 Open Letter to the Remediation Industry which suggested that the use of iron “in combination with other materials” for remediation falls under the company’s “base technology.” 

Moreover, RPI believes it has a strong case on invalidity, the letter explains, because two of the prior art references it is relying on were found to invalidate the Japanese counterpart of the ‘213 patent, and those invalidity findings were upheld by the Japanese Supreme Court.

Eric Lane Avatar

Eric Lane

Eric Lane, the founder and principal of Green Patent Law, is an intellectual property lawyer and registered U.S. patent attorney in New York and is a member of the bar in New York and California. Eric has more than two decades of experience working with wind, solar PV, CSP, biofuels, and geothermal, energy storage technologies, carbon capture and sequestration, medical devices, data communications, mechanical, chemical, internet and software.