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Andrews Kurth Helps Fast Felt to a Rare Complete Patent Owner IPR Victory at USPTO

September 1, 2016
Houston, Texas

(Houston, Texas)—Andrews Kurth partner Gregory L. Porter recently assisted Fast Felt Corp. in winning a rare complete patent owner victory before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). The favorable ruling came about a year after an inter partes review (IPR) proceeding was instituted over a key Fast Felt patent.

Houston-based Fast Felt develops technology relating to nail tabs, continuous strips and other basic geometric-shaped nail reinforcements for underlayment, shingle and other roofing products.

Fast Felt originally sued construction products giant Owens Corning in 2014 based on claims that the company was copying its method of applying nail tab material to roofing or building cover materials. Owens Corning responded by asking the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to declare the patent invalid. The PTAB ruled on Aug. 11 that Owens Corning failed to prove its claim that the application method covered by the patent would have been obvious based on prior art. 

“We are extremely pleased with this decision and are determined to ultimately prevail against Owens Corning,” said Fast Felt president David Collins. “As a pioneer in our field, we intend to vigorously prosecute our case in federal court.”

Mr. Porter noted the rarity of such a favorable ruling before the PTAB. 

“This was a significant decision for our client,” said Mr. Porter. “According to recent USPTO statistics, this rarely happens. Out of the over 3,000 IPR petitions filed to date against patent owners, only about 5 percent have resulted in a favorable decision to a patent owner on all claims like this one.”

The win against the odds also was noted in an article by the online legal news service Law360, Owens Corning Fails to Nix Nail Tab Patent at PTAB.”

Representing Fast Felt along with Mr. Porter, who has extensive experience in all aspects of patent, copyright and trade secret law, was Andrews Kurth intellectual property associate James C. Willson, also based in Houston. Co-counsel was James D. Petruzzi of Houston’s Petruzzi Law Firm, Fast Felt's longtime patent counsel, and Jennifer Yancy of Yancy IP Law, PLLC.

About Andrews Kurth LLP

Since 1902, Andrews Kurth has built its practice on the belief that “straight talk is good business.” Real answers, clear vision and mutual respect define the firm’s relationships with clients, colleagues, communities and employees. With 10 offices worldwide, Andrews Kurth represents a wide array of clients in multiple industries. For more information about Andrews Kurth, please visit andrewskurth.com.

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