By James Howsley
Last week, several Portland/Vancouver Metropolitan area home builders received a demand letter from Savannah IP, Inc ("Savannah") asserting patent rights over certain commonly used moisture removal processes. The letter references what appears to be a validly issued patent number (Patent No. 8,567,688) and bombards the recipient with a number of requests, including a ten day response deadline, the signing of a very overbearing patent license, and, of course, payment for the privilege of using the license.
Savannah appears to be an Oregon based company. Several parties alerted the Oregon Home Builders Association ("OHBA"), Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland ("HBA"), and the Building Industry Association of Washington ("BIAW") who in turn alerted the National Association of Home Builders ("NAHB") of this demand. An industry response is likely.
If you receive a similar letter, we strongly advise that you contact your local and statewide associations and alert them to the issue, as well as contacting an attorney.