Textron Patent Challenged

Scott Daniels | December 14, 2009

Earlier this fall, E-Z-GO (a division of Textron) sued Club Car in Georgia, alleging infringement of its U.S. Patent No. 7,332,881 entitled “AC Drive System for Electrically Operated Vehicle.” The drive systems are used in Club Car’s Carryall 2 LSV and Carryall 6 LSV which resemble golf carts.

This past week, on December 7, Club Car struck back at E-Z-GO by filing a request for inter partes reexamination of the ‘881 patent. Club Car’s request cites eight prior art references, though it is unclear how many of those references were considered during the original ‘881 prosecution.

Club Car also filed, on December 7, a motion with the Georgia court seeking a stay of the litigation pending resolution of the reexamination. In addition to citing the familiar PTO statistics suggesting a high success rate for inter partes reexamination requesters, Club Car asserted that the eight cited references would “seriously undermine Textron’s position regarding validity and enforceability of the” ‘881 patent.

E-Z-GO also owns a related patent, U.S. Patent No. 7,560,882 having the same title.

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