Bosch REAXX and SawStop Litigation Update

Bosch REAXX™ and SawStop Litigation Update

Over the past months, Woodworker’s Journal eZine has kept our readers apprised of developments in the current litigation proceedings between Robert Bosch Tool Corporation and SawStop, regarding Bosch’s skin-sensing REAXX™ Jobsite Table Saw.

To that end, on Dec. 1, 2016, SawStop issued the following press release:

“On Nov. 10, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) confirmed Administrative Law Judge Thomas B. Pender’s previous patent infringement findings against Robert Bosch Tool Corporation. The ITC will now consider Judge Pender’s recommended next steps including ‘a cease and desist order issue against Robert Bosch Tool Corp.,’ regarding importation of the infringing REAXX saw and activation cartridges into the United States.”

The release continues:

“Dr. Stephen Gass, SawStop’s president, commented on the ITC’s confirmation: ‘We are very pleased that the Commission confirmed Judge Pender’s findings that Bosch infringes our patents. We regret that Bosch chose to introduce the REAXX saw in disregard of our patents, leaving us with no alternative but to defend our rights in court. We have invested millions of dollars in research and development to protect woodworkers from serious injury, and we remain grateful for the U.S. patent system for protecting and encouraging our safety innovations.’”

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Bosch did not issue its own press release in response to SawStop’s Dec. 1 announcement, but Linda Beckmeyer, Bosch’s manager of media and public relations, offered this email reply to Woodworker’s Journal:

“At this time, the ITC proceedings are still under way. Recently, Bosch was notified that the ITC decided not to review a final initial determination issued by the presiding Administrative Law Judge, which ruled in favor of Bosch on two patents and against Bosch on two patents. The ITC also set a schedule for further briefings on the matter. We expect that the final decision will not be made until 2017.

Bosch maintains that development of its professional table saw product respects other companies’ patents and represents a new and unique technology in the construction market.

The Bosch REAXX™ Jobsite Table Saw is based on patented innovations created by the Power Tool Institute with advanced development conducted by the engineering team at Robert Bosch Tool Corp. in Mount Prospect, Illinois. This research has resulted in more than a dozen U.S. patents. At Bosch, safety is a priority – and we will work to defend consumers’ rights to buy our products. We believe that advanced REAXX safety technology does not violate any competitor’s intellectual property rights.”

Woodworker’s Journal will continue to provide updates about this case to our eZine readers as information becomes available.

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  • O_K

    Patents should provide innovators protection while also ensuring both that technology enters the public domain within a reasonable number of years and that licensing is not priced so high that it enables a monopoly. Apple v Samsung represents a jury deciding to award all profits and defend a monopoly rather than awarding a reasonable amount for the actual amount of patented innovation included in the competitors product.

    Also patents are not supposed to be awarded for obvious uses of science and technology. In this case that is the electrical differential between the user and a grounded circuit. Who of us hasn’t experienced a static discharge at some time in our life? That should not be a patent able discovery because it is an application of a rather obvious phenomenon. Much as I appreciate Saw Stop in production and teaching environments I was very much put off by their lobbyists attempts to have the tens of millions of older table saws made illegal. Then again, I have been using an older table saw without injury since my father introduced me to woodworking over fifty years ago.

    Some may think Saw Stop should be in everything from band saws to garbage disposals. Reasonably priced it might happen. But how many want to be forced to pay $500 to $1,000 for a garbage disposal because a handful of users each year stick their hand in to clear a jam while the power is on?

    Personally I see the Bosch saw as a big improvement on bringing saw stop type safety protection to many more table saw users. So I hope that reasonable licensing terms can be worked out for any Saw Stop technology that has been infringed. Unfortunately our legal system changed long ago to valuing procedure above all else and justice seems to not be a consideration much at all. IMHO.

    • EastCountyHills

      I agree totally, the legal system has been subverted.

    • thehollowman

      Actually, the SCOTUS just took the teeth out of Apple’s ridiculous patent’s lawsuits. They agreed that Samsung infringed on three flimsy design patents – including rounded edges – however, they took away all but a fraction of the damages. The new figure is likely to be $50 mil, which is a pittance to Samsung.

      The fact is that the SCOTUS is quite irritated by the lower courts patent interpretations. Bosch will likely find that if they continue the fight that they will eventually have a favorable outcome.