Friday, March 3, 2017

From Telegram (6)

Da Telegram (6)

At the end the US Commission on International Trade decided that Bosch infringed two patents owned by SawStop and therefore, excluding extrajudicial economic agreements, Bosch will have to stop selling in the US its circular saws Reaxx and related spare parts included the cartridges that are needed to operate the safety system.
Bosch commented the decision saying that they now hope that the President of the Commission should not ratify it. And the President of the Commission, if I have not misunderstood it, is no other than Donald Trump himself. Yes exactly that Donald Trump that is a lot protectionist and has already flamed with Angela Merkel.

Alla fine la US Commission on International Trade ha deciso che la Bosch ha infranto due brevetti di proprietà della Sawstop e quindi, al netto di accordi economici extragiudiziari, la Bosch dovrà smettere di vendere negli Stati Uniti le sue seghe circolari Reaxx e le relative parti di ricambio incluse le cartuccie che sono necessarie per far funzionare il sistema di sicurezza.
La Bosch ha commentato la decisione dicendo che adesso spera che il Presidente della Commissione non la ratifichi. E il Presidente della commissione, se non ho capito male, è nientepopodimeno che Donald Trump in persona. Sì esatto quel Donald Trump che è molto protezionista e che ha già flammato con Angela Merkel.


  1. Please see this link for leadership of the USITC.

    Patents are patents, that's why we go to the trouble to get them. Inventors have the right to their inventions. I would not expect intervention that would allow infringing product to be sold without approval of the patent owner. Sawstop could choose to license the tech to Bosch or Bosch could make a case that they are not using Sawstop technology. The other outcome is no more sales of Reaxx.


    1. Thanks Steve, I had read the Wikipedia page and the site of the USITC, but I was not able to figure out exactly who is the president that is mentioned in the second article that I linked: "The President's International Trade Representative has 60 days to ratify or reverse the decision.". Who is the president that is mentioned? The Chairman of the Commission or the President of the United States?

    2. Hi Andrea,

      The chairman of the commission will ratify or reverse the decision. The ITC appears to be a government commission that reports to the president. It's likely that this case was litigated during the previous administration.

      This is not what my understanding of the law was (engineer, not lawyer). I always thought this was a matter for legal courts. It could be in the USITC because it is an imported product or because it is a German parent company. The Sawstop is from China but the company is based in the US. Depending on whether Sawstop protected their intellectual property on other countries would affect the availability of Reaxx elsewhere. If there are European patents then the claims would have to be examined in EU courts to see if there are violations then an action determined.

      For Sawstop, this situation gives them the greatest power in negotiating any licensing agreement. Also, if a lot of Reaxx were sold, Sawstop could go after damages for that.

      Patents are structured around specific claims so if Sawstop had a particular way of sensing your finger and Bosch's method was similar enough, that would be enough to warrant penalties.

      Here is the mission statement of USITC, which looks like it's involved because the product is imported:

      Regarding your concern about protectionism, I don't believe this is the case since neither product is made in US, the patent dispute is likely legitimate, and I think a tariff or tax would be the tactic of choice for market protection


    3. Thanks again, Steve, you surely know US laws better than me. My doubts arose from the fact that in the section dedicated to the history of the USITC in the wikipedia page are mentioned two cases in which the commission's decision were reversed by Regan and Obama.

    4. Andrea, you seem to know a lot too. I did not know that individual cases like this get to the desk of our president. I don't know the details of the cases you just mentioned. I guess we would have to wait and see. After 2023, the patents in question will be expired so another company could come in with a similar product. Sometimes a patent holder can issue enhancements on patents and get more time for protection but that is tricky and I don't know the details.

      Thanks for the learning opportunity. Now I can try my hand again at Italian captcha instructions!

    5. Aha, the Italian captcha... :-)
      I have the same problem with the German captcha when I comment on Pedder blog.