February 10, 2023

The Patents Trial and Appeal Board of the USPTO Rules in Favor of Continuous Composites

Showing a gavel and Continuous Composites logo

The Patent Trial & Appeal Board of the US Patent and Trademark Office has ruled in favor of Continuous Composites by denying six petitions by Markforged for Inter Partes Review.

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COEUR D’ALENE, ID – February 10, 2023 – The Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has recently ruled in favor of Continuous Composites Inc., an innovator in the 3D printing industry, by denying six petitions filed by Markforged (NYSE: MKFG) for Inter Partes Review (IPR) challenging the validity of claims of Continuous Composites’ foundational patents involved in the company's ongoing patent infringement lawsuit.

Continuous Composites filed a lawsuit against Markforged in July of 2021, asserting infringement of five of its foundational patents. In 2022, Markforged responded with seven petitions for IPR (Case Nos. IPR2022-00548, IPR2022-00652, IPR2022-00679, IPR2022-00732, IPR2022-01218, IPR2022-01220 and IPR2022-01413), requesting cancelation of Continuous Composites’ asserted patent claims in the patents. In six of the cases, the PTAB ruled in favor of Continuous Composites by denying institution of the IPRs.  

These are exceptional results, considering the PTAB institution rate for post grant petitions in FY 2022 was 66% (FY 2023 YTD institution rate is 70%).  Statistically speaking, the likelihood of achieving 6 denials is less than 0.1%.

The denials build on Continuous Composites’ earlier successes in the lawsuit. Markforged initially filed a motion to dismiss Continuous Composites’ claims. A hearing was held on February 11th, 2022, and the judge denied Markforged’s motion.  

Continuous Composites continues to expand its portfolio, including the foundational family of patents.  This is evidenced by the recent granting of two additional foundational patents and an allowance on another foundational application, all of which have a 2012 priority date.

We believe the inventions protected by Continuous Composites’ infringed patents are critical to the functionality of Markforged’s continuous fiber printers (e.g., the Mark Two, Onyx Pro, X5, X7, and FX20).

In this matter, Continuous Composites is dually represented by Lee & Hayes P.C. and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. All inquiries regarding this matter should be directed to legal counsel.

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