Blue Origin Drops Patent Fight With SpaceX

Patently Obvious Credit : SpaceX

Patently Obvious
Credit : SpaceX

Maybe its the fact that they’re soon going to be neighbors at KSC. Or, it could be a matter of bowing to the inevitable and a patent which was shaky at best,  but whatever the real reason, Blue Origin has effectively conceded the dispute regarding its patent for landing a rocket on a sea going barge to SpaceX.

From the petition:

“A patent owner may request judgment against itself “at any time during a proceeding” upon cancellation of the particular claims at issue such that there is “no remaining claim in the trial.”2 37 C.F.R. § 42.73(b)(2). Here, Blue Origin has requested cancellation of all the claims on which trial was instituted, hence, no claims will remain for trial. Paper 11. In view of the cancellation of claims 1–13 of the ’321 patent, the entry of final judgment adverse to Blue Origin is appropriate.”

Note: While there is little reason to expect a new-found friendship between the two companies, particularly considering Blue Origin’s close ties with SpaceX uber-nemesis ULA, it might not be all that surprising to find out in a few years time that as part of the agreement for dropping the objection, Blue Origin has a gained permission to lease the East Coast barge from SpaceX for its own first efforts at stage recovery over the Atlantic.

By the time Jeff Bezos’ company has its orbital rocket ready to go at Cape Canaveral, SpaceX will most likely have several year’s experience landing the Falcon 9 first stage at its own dedicated pad, Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 13. Once such a return to land capability is both demonstrated and accepted, it seems unlikely that Blue Origin wouldn’t want to pursue precisely the same path.

With the ASDS “barge” will being used less frequently, primarily for the Falcon Heavy center core or particularly taxing F9 missions, a little help covering the slip fees might make sense.

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1 Comment on "Blue Origin Drops Patent Fight With SpaceX"

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  1. Optimistic Brian says:

    Is it really necessary to say “uber-nemesis”? I’m pretty sure the concept of nemesis covers it all by itself.

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