Thursday, September 12, 2013

Manufacturer’s Price Quote Triggers On-Sale Bar

The court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment that plaintiff's baking rack patent was invalid because a price quote from a prospective manufacturer to plaintiff’s predecessor prior to the critical date triggered the on-sale bar. "[The quote] was based upon specific renderings of a proposed product and provided exact pricing. It included a location of manufacturing, a timeline therefor, a reject rate, and a carve-out allowing the manufacturer to alter the pricing if the production information supplied by [plaintiff's predecessor] were to change. Again, while additional details needed to be worked out, such a specific pricing estimate manifests that the manufacturer was willing to enter into a bargain on the offered terms. . . . Moreover, the fact that such an offer comes from a supplier, rather than the entity that later secures the patent, is irrelevant. . . . [T]he manufacturer offered to produce a specific number of trays for [plaintiff] (which it already had design specifications for), and provided a price for doing so on a specific production schedule. . . . [T]here was no impediment that could have prevented [the predecessor] from accepting the terms of the manufacturer’s offer."

Orbis Corporation v. Rehrig Pacific Company, 2-12-cv-01073 (WIED September 10, 2013, Order) (Stadtmueller, J.).

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