- The US Patent Office has declared the US Well patents invalid
- The case and arguments are set for trial in March
(Reuters) – Halliburton Co has convinced the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to block three electronic patents that U.S. oil company Well Services Inc accused of infringing, according to a federal court ruling in West Texas.
The Patent Trial and Appeal Board found that the patents – the only ones remaining in the case – were invalid based on prior inventions, Halliburton told the court on Wednesday.
The board also denied US Well’s request to review the validity of four patents that Halliburton challenged in the counterclaim.
Representatives for US Well’s parent company ProFrac Holding Corp did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday. Oilfield company ProFrac bought Houston-based US Well last year.
Halliburton senior vice president and chief legal officer Van Beckwith said Thursday that the company “has been developing oil technology for over 100 years,” and that it “immediately realized” the US Well patents were invalid.
US Well may appeal the board’s invalid decisions to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. A West Texas state court blocked four other U.S. Well approvals that were involved in the lawsuit last year.
The trial is now scheduled to begin in Waco, Texas, on March 27.
US Well sued Houston-based Halliburton in 2021 for infringing seven patents related to electric fracking, which uses electricity instead of diesel fuel to run pumps. The lawsuit alleges that all of Halliburton’s electric vehicles infringe on the patents.
Halliburton countersued later that year with claims that US Well infringes on its patents. Halliburton also filed two separate patent lawsuits against US Well in Waco last year that are still ongoing.
Both companies have asked to spend an undisclosed amount.
The case is US Well Services Inc v. Halliburton Co, US District Court for the Western District of Texas, No. 6:21-cv-00367.
For US Well: Tom Melsheimer and Rex Mann of Winston & Strawn
For Halliburton: Roger Fulghum, Michael Hawes and Susan Kennedy of Baker Botts; David Genender, David Tobin and Syed Fareed of McDermott Will & Emery
US Well Services files e-frac patent lawsuit against Halliburton, Cimarex Energy
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