ROCKVILLE, MD -- (Marketwire) -- 01/23/13 -- The Restoration Industry Association (RIA) announces that it has filed suit in Federal Court in the Western District of Washington State against Thermapure. The purpose of this suit is to invalidate six of the seven patents held by Thermapure. These patents, and in particular the "812," have been used by Thermapure to sue RIA members and other restoration industry companies through a process commonly known as "patent trolling." RIA firmly believes that these suits are without merit, as the family of patents involved assert claims that have been industry standards for years.
RIA's Board of Directors created the Restoration Industry Legal Fund in 2012 to address a number of issues that impact RIA members and the entire industry. The RIA Legal Fund Committee was established and made recommendations to the full RIA Board regarding this matter. The Board approved their action to engage counsel and work to invalidate these patents.
"RIA interviewed law firms from across the country and selected a firm in Washington State that has had success in defending two clients against Thermapure. They have developed an aggressive strategy to stop the hostile patent trolling that has had such a detrimental effect on RIA members and the entire restoration industry," said RIA Executive Director, Timothy Shaw.
"RIA views these patent lawsuits against its members and other industry companies as an affront to the entire industry and the countless professionals who have spent decades building it," said RIA President, Samuel Bergman, CR. "We are confident that RIA members and the industry will join together to protect their mutual interests and contribute to the fund to assist us in invalidating all of these meritless and ridiculous patents."
RIA is soliciting money from both members and nonmembers to fund this effort. The association has already joined resources with the Joint Defense Fund formed in 2012 by approximately 50 RIA members. Both organizations believe that joining efforts will reduce administration costs and result in more progress by working collaboratively rather than individually.
RIA Board Member Jonathan Miko is spearheading the Restoration Industry Legal Fund effort for RIA. "RIA has been the industry's leading and largest trade association since 1946, and one of the responsibilities of a trade association is to protect the interests of its members," said Miko. "This will not be a legal defense fund, but will be used to research any issue that negatively impacts RIA members and the restoration industry at large. In this case, we are addressing suspect patents that are being used against our members and others in the industry, and working to invalidate them. We will also be making all prior art and case history available to RIA members for their use, should the need arise."
For more information or to contribute to the fund, contact the Restoration Industry Association in Rockville, Maryland, (800) 272-7012 or visit www.restorationindustry.org.
The Restoration Industry Association (RIA) is the oldest and largest trade association representing the restoration and reconstruction industry with member firms worldwide. RIA serves and represents the interests of its members by promoting the highest ethical standards; providing education, professional qualification and certification opportunities; positively influencing regulations and governmental actions; and advancing the safety, image, efficiency, and competitiveness of industry members.
More information is available on the RIA website: www.restorationindustry.org
Patricia L. Harman
Director of Standards & Communications
Restoration Industry Association
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