Carmanah purchases and disclaims RRFB patents, ensuring anyone can produce them
Carmanah Technologies Corporation (TSX: CMH) (“the Company” or “Carmanah”) today announced that it has purchased and disclaimed all patents restricting rectangular rapid flashing beacons (“RRFBs”) from gaining federal approvals in the US. The Federal Highway Administration (“FHWA”) had previously revoked the interim approval due to the patent disputes, but immediately following Carmanah’s actions, reversed its decision and reinstated the RRFB as an approved option, as described in its March 20, 2018, Memorandum, Interim Approval 21 – Rectangular Rapid-Flashing Beacons at Crosswalks.
Extensive studies on the RRFB have shown it produces driver yield rates of 96%, on par with more costly solutions and far higher than crosswalk paint alone. As a result of the RRFB’s effectiveness as a tool preventing pedestrian injury or death, the FHWA granted the Interim Approval for Optional Use of Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons (IA-11) in its Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) in 2008. Many states and agencies followed suit, adding the RRFB to their own approved or qualified products lists. Later, the original manufacturer of the RRFB sought and received several patents on the RRFB design, but since the FHWA prohibits proprietary devices in the MUTCD, it withdrew the interim approval on December 21, 2017.
Carmanah purchased all patents with the sole purpose of disclaiming them, a move that propels the RRFB into the public domain. With the patent issue resolved and the FHWA’s RRFB interim approval reinstated, the market is open for anyone; all current and future manufacturers can produce RRFBs without licensing fees or fear of patent infringement.
Carmanah aims to continue advancing RRFB technology with the goal of increasing roadway safety as more and more RRFBs are deployed in crosswalks throughout the US and around the world.
“The ability to use RRFBs will undoubtedly help reduce pedestrian and bicycle injuries and deaths. We hope that the RRFB interim approval may one day become a full inclusion in the MUTCD,” said John Simmons, Carmanah CEO.
“Our vision is to be the global leader in the signals industry, and one of the traits of a good leader is knowing when to take a stand for the benefit of all. We believe in improving safety, and we believe in this product: we could not stand by and do nothing when technology with the proven ability to save lives is at risk of being stifled,” Simmons said. “We believe manufacturers should not compete on intellectual property; technology should be in the public domain so we can all compete on the merits of our ideas and quality of manufacturing."
About Carmanah Technologies Corporation
Carmanah designs, develops and distributes a portfolio of products focused on energy optimized LED solutions for infrastructure. Since 1996, we have earned a global reputation for delivering durable, dependable, efficient and cost-effective solutions for industrial applications that perform in some of the world’s harshest environments. We manage our business within two reportable segments: Signals and Illumination. The Signals segment serves the Airfield Ground Lighting, Aviation Obstruction, Offshore Wind, Marine, Traffic and Telematics markets. The Illumination segment provides solar powered LED outdoor lights for municipal and commercial customers.
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