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K&L Gates Helps Secure ITC Reversal in Patent Suit Over Water Filters

29 September 2023

Global law firm K&L Gates LLP successfully represented Vestergaard Frandsen Inc. (d/b/a LifeStraw) in a patent infringement case brought by Clorox Co.’s Brita LP in the US International Trade Commission (ITC). Brita sought an exclusion order preventing LifeStraw from importing its home gravity-fed water filter line of products into the United States, but the ITC recently found that LifeStraw and several rival water filter manufacturers clearly demonstrated that the Brita patent was invalid for indefiniteness and failure to comply with the written description and enablement requirements, reversing an Administrative Law Judge’s initial determination in February.

K&L Gates Chicago partners Jeffrey Gargano and Devon Beane led the team representing LifeStraw in this matter with assistance from associates Nelson Hua and Ewa Wojciechowska and paralegal Perry Brooks.

“The Commission’s ruling is in line with over 100 years of legal precedent that requires an inventor to share an enabling disclosure with the public in exchange for the right to exclude others from practicing the claimed invention,” Gargano said. “Here, the Commission agreed with LifeStraw that Brita’s patent failed to live up to this quid pro quo.”

Alison Hill, LifeStraw’s Chief Executive Officer, commented: “This victory is not just a win for LifeStraw but also a triumph for public health and our nation’s access to safe water. With the threat of an exclusion order behind us, LifeStraw can get on with providing access to clean drinking water to those here in the US and around the world who need it the most.”

K&L Gates’ IP practice boasts more than 250 lawyers and professionals – including more than 100 registered patent lawyers, agents, and technology specialists with technical or advanced science degrees, nearly 30 with doctorates – who devote their practices to helping clients establish, enforce, and leverage their intellectual property rights worldwide. The practice is globally ranked among the “22 Best of the Best Law Firms in IP Litigation” and as an IP Litigation Leader as part of the BTI Litigation Outlook 2022 report.

K&L Gates is a fully integrated global law firm with lawyers located across five continents. The firm represents leading multinational corporations, growth and middle-market companies, capital markets participants and entrepreneurs in every major industry group as well as public sector entities, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations and individuals.

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