June 2nd, 2017


Potter Electric Signal Co. and South-Tek Systems both make and sell nitrogen-based corrosion mitigation products to the fire sprinkler industry. Engineered Corrosion Solutions (ECS) has obtained two US patents purporting to cover all use of nitrogen in inhibiting corrosion in sprinkler systems. However, both of these patents are directed to a very specific type of vent, and Potter’s and South-Tek’s vent products are of a completely different type. Neither Potter’s nor South-Tek’s products infringe the claims of either patent.

Potter, South-Tek, and ECS are involved in several ongoing cases of litigation over the validity of these patents. Although the Patent Office recently declined to invalidate one such patent, we plan to appeal that decision, and in any case the patent’s validity may be further challenged in federal court. Validity of the other patent is still under review in the Patent Office, and we are confident it will be held invalid. However, the validity of either patent is irrelevant to the question of infringement – neither Potter’s nor South-Tek’s nitrogen-based corrosion mitigation products infringe the claims of either patent.

Potter and South-Tek Systems will continue the legal challenges to the validity of both Patents No. 9,144,700 and 9,186,533, allowing all competitors in the Fire Protection System industry to compete equally based on quality, price, and service.

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