Diana San Diego
888.653.3333 ext. 756
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SAFTI FIRST FIGHTS THROUGH ASSERTIONS MADE BY PLAINTIFFS ELY HOLDINGS LIMITED AND GREENLITE GLASS SYSTEMS THAT SAFTI FIRST’S FIRE RATED FLOOR SYSTEM INFRINGED ON THEIR PATENT
October 13,2021 (Brisbane, CA) – In a summary judgement dated February 3, 2021, Chief Magistrate Joseph C. Spero of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the patent infringement claims filed by Ely Holdings Limited (Ely) and Greenlite Glass Systems (Greenlite) against SAFTI FIRST, a USA fire rated glass and framing manufacturer, could not proceed to trial, finding that the SAFTI FIRST’s fire resistant floor does not violate Ely’s patent.
Ely is based in the United Kingdom. Greenlite is a Canadian company which represents Vetrotech Saint Gobain using Ely’s fire rated glass floor. They filed a complaint in the Federal District Court in November 2018, alleging that SAFTI FIRST infringed on their fire rated glass flooring patent. SAFTI FIRST, which manufactures the GPX FireFloor system, a fire resistive floor system with ratings of 1 and 2 hours, responded by denying all claims. SAFTI FIRST has its own very different and more utilitarian fire rated floor.
SAFTI FIRST denied all claims and filed a counterclaim against Greenlite asserting misrepresentations that they were able to meet the congressional “Buy America” requirements imposed on many federally and municipally funded projects, including the Transbay Terminal Project in San Francisco. SAFTI FIRST and Greenlite had both sought the Transbay project. Greenlite was issued the contract over SAFTI FIRST.
Ely Holdings’ Infringement Case
Judge Spero issued a summary judgement ruling (Ely Holdings Limited v. O’Keeffe’s, Inc. [N.D. Cal., 3:18-cv-06721]) where the Court writes:
“Safti’s motion for summary judgement is GRANTED as to Plaintiffs’ claims for patent infringement, and Plaintiffs’ motion is DENIED as to those claims.”
Allowing SAFTI FIRST’s misrepresentation Counterclaim for the Transbay Project to proceed to trial, Judge Spero pointed to correspondence from Kurt Ratzel of Vetrotech Saint Gobain, the manufacturer of the fire rated glass for the Transbay Project. That letter informed Greenlite that the glass system would have to be produced in Germany and that if “Buy America” production was a requirement, it would be a “killer criteria.” Judge Spero continued to write:
“…[G]enuine issues of material fact remain to be resolved for Safti’s … claim based on the Transbay project… and violation of the “Buy America Act” because a jury “might reasonably conclude that Ratzel’s initial statement—that the glass would need to be produced in Germany—was both true and known to [Greenlite] at all relevant times. If that were the case, [Greenlite’s] March 2015 statement that at least some of the structural glass would be produced in the United States, … would have been a misrepresentation as to the nature and origin of the glass intended to be used in the project…”
After that ruling, all claims were dismissed by all parties. SAFTI FIRST President & CEO William O’Keeffe says “after years of litigation, we are happy to put this behind us. Litigation is expensive and time consuming and not the way we want to spend our efforts and resources, which we can now rededicate to providing the architectural and building communities with technologically advanced, fire rated glass and framing systems — proudly made here in the US.”
About SAFTI FIRST
SAFTI FIRST® Fire Rated Glazing Solutions (www.safti.com) has been serving the architectural and building communities and is the recognized leader in manufacturing fire rated glass and framing for over 35 years. As the premier source for fire rated glazing, SAFTI FIRST® was the first to introduce transparent fire rated walls to the U.S. market. Our comprehensive product line, fire rated from 20 minutes to 3 hours, includes fire resistive tempered units (SuperLite® II-XL and SuperLite® II-XLB), fire resistive multilaminates (SuperLite® II-XLM), fire resistive security glazing (SuperSecure® II-XLS), patent-pending clear specialty fire protective glass (patent-pending SuperClear® 45-HS and SuperClear® 45-HS-LI), specialty tempered glass (SuperLite® I and I-XL) and specialty fire protective (SuperLite® X-45/60/90). Our fire rated glazing products can protect against noise, attack, impact, bullets, blast, hurricane and UV rays, and are available in many custom architectural make-ups, including butt-glazed and enhanced energy performance applications. GPX® Framing is fire rated up to 2 hours and can be used in doors, openings, storefronts, curtain wall and floor applications and available in multiple architectural finishes. GPX® Framing can also be customized protect against attack, impact, bullets, blast and hurricane. Our products are manufactured in the U.S. for fast lead times. For more information, call 888.653.3333.
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