- Parabolic Arc
- September 26, 2023
SpaceX Files Appeals to Blue Origin’s Patent to Land Rockets on Barges
SpaceX, which plans to initially land the first stage of its reusable Falcon 9 rocket on a barge, says that the patent award should be overturned because the landing techniques described were already well known:
The reusable launch vehicle techniques described in Section IV above were known to persons of ordinary skill in the art by at least the late 1990s, but this fact went largely unnoticed by the patent owner during the original prosecution of the ‘321 patent. The Background portion of the ‘321 patent pays lip service to the existence of prior art reusable launch vehicles (RLVs), but does not describe them in any detail. Nor does the specification identify any specific drawback of existing RLVs that the alleged invention seeks to address.
The ‘321 patent instead attempts to lay claim over the technique described by Ishijima in 1998 of landing a reusable space launch vehicle on a “sea-going platform,” such as a “free-floating, ocean-going barge” or other vessel.
You can download the two appeals below: