Since last year, Woodworker’s Journal eZine has kept our readers informed 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 January 27, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ordered U.S. Customs to exclude Bosch REAXX Jobsite Table Saws, and cartridges for those saws, from entering the United States. Further, the ITC issued an order to Robert Bosch Tool Corporation saying Bosch must “cease and desist from conducting any of the following activities in the United States: importing, selling, marketing, advertising, distributing, transferring (except for exportation), and soliciting United States agents or distributors for imported [REAXX] table saws.”
The ITC has now terminated its investigation against Bosch.
Dr. Stephen Gass, president of SawStop, commented on the Commission’s decision: “When Bosch chose to introduce the REAXX saw in disregard of our patents, they left us with no alternative but to take action in court. We have defended our innovation, our hard work, and our investments in developing SawStop technology, and we are pleased that the ITC ordered the exclusion of products that use our patented inventions without a license and confirmed the strength of those patents. We are grateful for the U.S. patent system for encouraging and protecting innovations and we look forward to continuing to supply the market with safer saws.”
In response to the “cease and desist” order, Linda Beckmeyer, Bosch’s manager of media and public relations, offered this reply:
“Robert Bosch Tool Corporation is very disappointed with the ITC’s decision. 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. It is disappointing that a competitor is continuing its campaign to stop the sale of REAXX technology to consumers.
We believe that advanced REAXX safety technology does not violate any competitor’s intellectual property rights. The patents asserted against REAXX are based on applications filed more than 15 years ago; Bosch does not believe they apply to REAXX technology. In addition, Bosch believes that if the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had complete information, it would not have issued certain patents in the first place.
It is our firm belief that the development, marketing and distribution of the REAXX Jobsite Table Saw is completely separate and distinct from anything other brands or manufacturers are doing.”
Beckmeyer added that the case is now in a 60-day presidential review period, which began on Jan. 27. During this time, the U.S. president has an opportunity to review the facts of the case and then veto this exclusion order.
During the review period, “nothing changes,” Beckmeyer says, related to the availability of REAXX Jobsite Table Saws, activation cartridges or other accessories.
Beckmeyer further clarified that the ITC order relates to future importation of REAXX saws into the U.S. Activation cartridges that are now produced in the U.S. are not affected by the cease and desist order.
“At Bosch, safety is a priority. We will work to defend consumers’ rights to buy our products,” Beckmeyer says.
Woodworker’s Journal will continue to provide updates about this case as information becomes available.