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OMAHA, Neb., Oct. 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PhaZZer announces that TASER/AXON (AAXN) filed a (now withdrawn) unsupported lawsuit in what appeared to be a last-ditch attempt to stop the PhaZZer Enforcer CEW and cartridges’ entry as the only viable and accepted competitor by US Law Enforcement. It appears that all other competitors have been silenced through litigation using the TASER ‘262 patent; which the USPTO Examiner declared invalid on all claims in its FINAL OFFICE ACTION on April 27th 2018 and AFFIRMED on appeal by Patent Trial And Appeal Board (“PTAB”) on September 27, 2019.
On September 9, 2019, PhaZZer IP LLC (“PhaZZer IP”) and several licensees of PhaZZer IP, received notice of a lawsuit, Case No. 6:19-cv-1721-Orl-37DCI, filed by AXON claiming, among other things, that the new dart cartridge infringed upon US Patent No. 7,444,939 (the “ ‘939 Patent”) ammunition patent. This patent was partially assigned to AXON on June 27th, 2019, and would appear to be in response to Spruce Point Capital’s analyst report that was published on June 21st, “Why The Market Is Missing A Renewed Competitive Threat To Taser's Core CEW” https://seekingalpha.com/instablog/545066-ben-axler/5318647-market-missing-renewed-competitive-threat-tasers-core-cew
Axon incorrectly claimed that it owned all rights in the ‘939 Patent in order to bring the lawsuit which was coupled with cease and desist letters demanding that PhaZZer IP “immediately withdraw and terminate all [purported] PhaZZer intellectual property licensing agreements with Less Lethal Safety Supply, Inc., PhaZZer Holdings, Inc., PhaZZer-USA, LLC, PhaZZer Federal Supply, and any other entity or individual authorized to advertise and sell PhaZZer dart cartridges in the United States, including, but not limited to, PhaZZer cartridges 1-DC15……1-NDC25, and any other dart cartridge not colorably different from these cartridges (the "Infringing Products").” PhaZZer’s Dart Cartridges, 1-NDC15, 1-NDC21 and 1-NDC25 are new and nonobvious according to a patent application filed with the USPTO. Indeed, Axon claimed, in another filing, that it did not perform its due diligence in the acquisition or assertion of the ‘939 patent, it supposedly relied upon Safariland, LLC, from whom it acquired Vievu, LLC in 2018, not Vievu, LLC whom it acquired the ‘939 Patent from.
Indeed, AXON claimed that it is “the owner by assignment of all right, title and interest in and to U.S. Patent No. 7,444,939 (the "'939 patent").” Upon further investigation, PhaZZer IP discovered that the “939” patent was not fully assigned at any time by the second inventor of the Patent, James McNulty Jr., since the filing date of the ‘939 Patent. Indeed, a simple check of the USPTO assignment records clearly showed James McNulty Jr.’s ownership of the ‘939 Patent. Based on the public USPTO records, Axon should have reasonably known that its ownership claims were incorrect and it could not bring an action without all of the owners of the ‘939 patent. It appears that the filing of this unsupported lawsuit was an attempt to thwart the relaunch of the PhaZZer Enforcer and new cartridges on October 15, 2019, as Spruce Point previously mentioned.
To bolster PhaZZer IP’s intellectual property and licensing rights, Phazzer IP purchased James McNulty Jr.’s rights in the ‘939 Patent, and PhaZZer IP is now a joint owner of the ‘939” patent with AXON. On Sept. 26th, 2019, AXON received a demand that it immediately withdraw the unsupported lawsuit, and AXON voluntarily withdrew the lawsuit against all defendants in response that day. Case 6:19-cv-01721-PGB-DCI Document 23 Filed 09/26/19.