"Smart Connector" Patents:
In 2005, reexamination proceedings at the USPTO were initiated by Askey Corporation (now an Acticon licensee) in response to a patent infringement law suit brought by Acticon against Askey.
Reexamination was requested for three of Acticon's patents: U.S. Patent Nos. 4,603,320 ("Connector Interface"), 4,686,506 ("Multiple Connector Interface") and 4,972,470 ("Programmable Connector"). The Patent Office disagreed with the applicant's arguments alleging that these patents were invalid in view of the prior art.
During the reexamination of the '470 Patent, approximately 120 U.S. patents, 10 foreign patents, and 34 non-patent publications were brought to the attention of the Patent Office, which nevertheless found that the "volumes of prior art cited by the requester... have been reviewed in detail.... However, the examiner does not agree with any of the proposed anticipation/obviousness conclusions drawn by the requestor."