Chicago, IL (April 23rd, 2020): LuminAID Lab, LLC announces that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office ruled entirely in LuminAID’s favor recently on a challenge that MPOWERD Inc. had mounted against LuminAID’s U.S. Patent 9,347,629.
That patent represents the originating work by LuminAID’s founders, Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta, that pioneered the technology of expandable and contractible solar powered lights. MPOWERD had alleged that Ms. Stork and Ms. Sreshta were not the sole and original inventors of this technology, which they developed as students to provide safe light to people in areas hit by natural disasters. The technology is also great for hikers, campers, boaters, and home emergency preparedness.
LuminAID responded by providing extensive documentation that Ms. Stork and Ms. Sreshta created in 2010, when they invented the technology. This included prototype images, receipts, e-mails, drawings, and many other forms of documentation. The documentation is still in its original form in Google Docs, GMail, and related products—what LuminAID’s counsel called, “The Case of the Millennial Inventors,” because it was their use of cloud technologies that cemented their evidence. Ms. Stork, who testified live before the Board to explain her and Ms. Sreshta’s inventive work, notes, “We are especially gratified that the Board credited our extensive evidence that Andrea and I were the true innovators in this space. As inventors, it is inevitable to have copycats and people who question who came up with what. You have to keep your focus and continue growing your business despite the competitors. It is validating to have the support from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office that Andrea and I are the original, sole inventors of this technology.”
Importantly, Congress also had the foresight to limit these types of challenges to issued patents, and put in place mechanisms to prevent parties like MPOWERD from having a second-bite-at-the-apple on claims such as these. Says Ms. Sreshta, “This has been a long process, but it has given us the opportunity to prove that we were first with this technology, and should lift any cloud that might have existed over our patent portfolio. We feel very good moving forward, and we continue our work to obtain patents on our core technology and improvements to it. The future of LuminAID is very bright indeed.”
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