Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin has backed down under a legal challenge from rival Elon Musk’s SpaceX, over the validity of a prior Blue Origin patent the covered the process of landing a rocket on a raft.
In a document made available this week, the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board accepted Blue Origin’s motion to drop 13 claims in what had been a protracted dispute between the two companies.
At issue was whether Blue Origin’s 2014 patent on the concept of landing a spent booster on a raft at sea could prevent SpaceX, or anyone else, from doing so.
Blue Origin filed for the patent in 2010, but SpaceX challenged the patent soon after it was granted, arguing that the concept had earlier been developed by other scientists, and that it wasn’t Blue Origin’s to patent.
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