In May 2017, FairfieldNodal (now Magseis Fairfield) filed a patent lawsuit against Seabed Geosolutions, alleging infringement of two Magseis Fairfield patents. Magseis Fairfield later withdrew those patents from the lawsuit and provided Seabed Geosolutions with covenants not to sue on those patents.

Magseis Fairfield then asserted four additional patents in the lawsuit. The United States Patent and Trademark Office subsequently instituted Seabed Geosolutions’ requests for inter partes reviews for three of those patents. The Patent Office also initiated an ex parte reexamination of the fourth patent as a result of substantial new questions of patentability raised in light of prior art cited by Seabed Geosolutions.  In November 2019, in two of the inter partes reviews, all the asserted claims were found to be unpatentable based on prior art submitted by Seabed Geosolutions.  The ex parte reexamination is still pending.

In the third inter partes review, for US Patent RE45,268 (“‘268 patent”), a panel of judges at the Patent Office recently found the claims patentable. Seabed Geosolutions filed a notice of appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on December 3, 2019 to challenge this recent decision.

While the appeal on the ‘268 patent is pending, Seabed Geosolutions awaits a decision on the pending ex parte reexamination of Magseis Fairfield’s U.S. Patent No. 9,829,589 (“’589 Patent”).  

With respect to the ‘268 and ‘589 patents, Seabed Geosolutions categorically denies infringement and categorically denies those patents are valid, and Seabed Geosolutions has raised defenses and counterclaims in the lawsuit that are separate and apart from the issues raised in the inter partes review of the ‘268 patent and the ex parte reexamination of the ‘589 patent.  Accordingly, Seabed Geosolutions considers the claims raised by Magseis Fairfield to be baseless and frivolous and will continue to vigorously defend itself against Magseis Fairfield’s patent infringement claims at the District Court if and when the District Court stay is lifted.