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Mintz Achieves Another Significant Victory Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on Behalf of FootBalance

Mintz, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. is pleased to announce another significant victory on behalf of its Finnish-based client, FootBalance, against Zero Gravity Inside, Inc. (ZGI). On Friday, February 3, 2017, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) handed down its final written decision in favor of FootBalance in an Inter Partes Review (IPR) proceeding against ZGI. In the decision, the PTAB upheld all claims challenged by ZGI, a rare outcome as less than 20% of instituted cases result in all claims being upheld.

This is the second IPR victory achieved by Mintz attorneys on behalf of FootBalance. In the first IPR, the PTAB declined to institute the proceeding, handing FootBalance its first IPR victory. In the past 3 years, more than 65% of all IPR petitions have resulted in a proceeding being instituted, so the denial of institution represented a significant first step in FootBalance’s defense of its patent rights against ZGI. 

“Being able to successfully defend the patent after institution is not very common at the PTAB,” said Howard Wisnia, a Member of Mintz Intellectual Property Practice. “We’re grateful that the PTAB recognized that the patent was valid and the challenges were without merit.”

Pedro F. Suarez, a Member of the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice, added, “FootBalance is a small company with an innovative solution and we are gratified that the company and its officers have entrusted us to defend their market position. The two IPRs filed by ZGI are part of that company’s defense strategy against FootBalance in a litigation pending in the Southern District of California, and these victories strengthen FootBalance’s position in that litigation.”

FootBalance offers custom insoles for sports, leisure, work and daily living. According to the company, its patented insoles contain material that is heated and then molded directly to a person’s foot. The entire process takes 10 minutes, whereas previous insoles required multiple trips to a medical center for measuring and fitting.

In addition to Mr. Wisnia and Mr. Suarez, the Mintz team also included Brad M. Scheller, a Member of the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice. The IPR resolved on February 3 is IPR2015-01769 and the IPR in which the PTAB denied institution is IPR2015-01770.  The underlying litigation is FootBalance System Inc. et al v. Zero Gravity Inside, Inc., 3:15cv01058.