Malibu Boats, LLC, a subsidiary of Malibu Boats, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBUU), announced a favorable ruling from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office regarding Malibu's US Patent No. 9,260,161 related to wakesurfing systems.
The USPTO recently issued a Notice of Intent to Issue Ex Parte Reexamination Certificate for the patent without amendment to the original claims. MasterCraft Boat Company requested that the PTO re-examine the patent during prior litigation between Malibu and MasterCraft. In particular, the USPTO confirmed without amendment the patentability of Claims 1, 7, 10, 12, 13 and 15 over a large volume of prior art references developed during prior litigations, including the now settled litigation with MasterCraft.
The PTO's recent order follows previous decisions rejecting challenges to another of Malibu's wakesurfing patents. On Nov. 16, 2016, the PTO's Patent Trial and Appeal Board denied both of MasterCraft's petitions for inter partes review of U.S. Patent No. 8,578,873, which had also been filed during the prior litigation between Malibu and MasterCraft. The board found that none of the grounds in MasterCraft's petitions presented a likelihood of success regarding the challenged claims.
"We are pleased that the requested re-examination of these patents is complete. This successful re-examination only further strengthens our confidence in the intellectual property protecting our wakesurfing technology advancements,” said Malibu CEO Jack Springer. “We are very excited about continuing to expand our position as the leading innovator in the marine industry."
In addition to these two patents, Malibu owns five other relevant patents as well as several continuation applications directed to varying aspects of its wakesurfing systems, giving it a total of seven U.S. patents.
At the time of publication, MasterCraft could not be reached for comment. This story will be updated when a comment becomes available.