Photo: courtesy Erika Taylor
SawStop claimed an initial victory in the early stages of a patent infringement lawsuit over the use of technology that disables a saw blade the moment it comes into contact with flesh.
On Sept. 9, a U.S. International Trade Commission Law judge made an initial determination that Bosch, which manufacturers the Reaxx table saw, infringed on SawStop’s “active injury mitigation technology.”
SawStop has asked the ITC to exclude Bosch’s Reaxx saws from entering the U.S. from Taiwan where they’re manufactured, and for Bosch to stop selling and advertising the saws and parts already in the U.S.
The determination is not yet binding. The USITC now must decide whether to adopt, modify, or reject the judge’s finding. That decision is expected in January 2017.
“Bosch chose to introduce the Reaxx saw in disregard of our patents, and we were left with no alternative but to defend our patent rights in court,” said Stephen Gass, president of Tualatin, Ore.-based SawStop.
In a statement, Bosch said it would continue to defend its ability to make Reaxx table saws available in the U.S., and pointed to the company’s own patent infringement lawsuit filed against SawStop in Illinois. That case is still pending.
The most recent determination comes nearly three months after the Supreme Court upheld a lower-court ruling that allowed SawStop to sue several members of the Power Tool Institute, a manufacturers’ trade organization. Bosch engineers and the Institute designed the technology for the Reaxx. The Institute has advocated against efforts to require SawStop’s flesh-sensing blade brake technology on saws. It has also accused SawStop of manipulating patent applications to “create a monopolistic advantage in the marketplace.” The institute’s position on SawStop can be found here.