AUSTIN, TX - Bio-based additive manufacturer Reactive Surfaces has filed a lawsuit in the Federal District Court for the Western District of Texas. The suit alleges that, although Toyota Motor Corp. filed patent applications long after Reactive Surfaces, the United States Patent & Trademark Office incorrectly granted certain patents to Toyota. It also alleges that the government agency is continuing to incorrectly grant Toyota patents in view of Reactive Surfaces’ own earlier-filed U.S. patent applications, which disclose and claim the same inventions.
A change in U.S. patent laws, a change that Reactive Surfaces says will radically alter U.S. patent laws from a first-to-invent system to one based upon first-to-file, is the main issue to be addressed in this series of legal challenges.
The innovation at the heart of the suits is a platform technology using biological enzymes entrained in coatings for surfaces like touch screens, mirrors and windows. The technology causes those surfaces to self-clean themselves from contamination by fingerprints, greasy smudges, makeup and other natural oils that are otherwise difficult to remove and that significantly deteriorate the view and appearance. There are enormous markets at stake in the automotive industry, the electronics industry, the food preparation industry and more.
The federal lawsuit seeks a ruling from the Court regarding over a half-dozen patent interference proceedings that Reactive Surfaces simultaneously filed in opposition to the Toyota patents and patent applications. It also seeks a judgment from the Court that Reactive Surfaces is the rightful inventor of the subject technology, that none of its commercialization efforts, such as its eRACE cell phone screen protectors, infringe on any Toyota patent claim, and that the Toyota patents are invalid and unenforceable.