TUALATIN, Or. - An administrative law judge has issued an initial ruling that Bosch’s new Reaxx safety saw infringes on SawStop patents. The ruling in a case before the U.S. International Trade Commission could potentially halt the importation and sale of Bosch’s new saw to the United States.
Just now becoming widely available at dealers in the United States, the Bosch saw uses flesh-sensing technology to drop the blade below the table saw tabletop when contact with flesh is detected. SawStop’s saws both drop the blade and stop the blade when flesh contact is detected.
SawStop sued Robert Bosch GmbH of Germany and its subsidiary Robert Bosch Tool Corporation for patent infringement before the ITC. On September 9, Administrative Law Judge Thomas B. Pender issued an initial ruling, finding that Bosch violated two of four SawStop patents related to the saw.
SD3, SawStop's corporate parent, won a procedural step at the U.S. Supreme Court against Black & Decker, Robert Bosch Tool, Makita U.S.A. SD3 accuses the saw makers of boycotting its safety technology.
“It is my Initial Determination that there is a violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. § 1337, in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, or the sale within the United States after importation of certain table saws incorporating active injury mitigation technology and components thereof, in connection with the asserted claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,895,927 and 8,011,279,” wrote Pender in his ruling.
In the case of two other SawStop patents, Pender found that Bosch was not in violation of those.
SawStop is asking the ITC to order U.S. Customs to exclude Bosch’s Reaxx saws from entering the United States, and to order Bosch to stop advertising and selling the saws and associated parts, which might include replacement cartridges essential to the saw’s operation.
In a statement issued by SawStop, Dr. Stephen Gass, SawStop’s President, said, “The technology in SawStop saws wouldn’t have made it to market except for the protection offered by the United States patent system. We have invested millions of dollars in research and development to protect woodworkers from serious injury, and our inventions have been awarded numerous patents. Bosch chose to introduce the Reaxx saw in disregard of our patents, and we were left with no alternative but to defend our patent rights in court. We are very pleased Judge Pender confirmed that Bosch infringes our patents.”
A request for comment from Bosch officials was not immediately answered.
SawStop, established in 1999, promotes itself as the “world leader in table saw safety.” Each SawStop saw stops and retracts the blade on contact with skin. The company’s saws are designed to minimize saw-related injuries and the costs associated with them.
The Bosch Reaxx saw is directly competitive with SawStop’s portable Jobsite Saw introduced in 2015, which has won awards and received many positive reviews. For more information about SawStop saws, go to www.sawstop.com. For more information about Bosch saws, go to www.boschtools.com.