Pacbrake says patent upheld

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Pacbrake has announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a certificate in a request for reexamination affirming the validity of U.S. Patent No. 4,848,289 that had been granted to Pacbrake on its P-37 combination retarder.

Jacobs Vehicle Equipment had requested reexamination of the patent in 2003; the PTO decision upheld the validity of all claims as originally granted and denied Jacobs’ arguments that the patent was invalid in view of prior art, according to Pacbrake.

In May 1993, Jacobs brought a declaratory judgment suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut contending that the patent was invalid and that it was not infringed by any Jacobs product. Pacbrake responded that the patent was valid and was infringed by engine retarders developed and sold by Jacobs for Mitsubishi, Volvo and, later, Mack Trucks.

In addition, Pacbrake claimed that DH Holdings Inc. and Danaher Corporation, Jacobs’ parents, are legally responsible for the infringement. Pacbrake has claimed that the infringement is willful and has sought treble damages, attorney fees and an injunction.

“We are pleased with the decision of the PTO upholding the validity of the patent,” says Vince Meneely, president of Pacbrake. “We obtained the patent to protect the retarder technology that we developed for the P-37 engine retarder. The PTO decision, made by four patent examiners, puts to an end any doubts about the validity of the patent.”