|Unilin prevails before The United States International Trade Commission ||Unilin prevails before The United States International Trade Commission ||2006-07-06T22:00:00Z|
On July 3rd 2006, administrative law judge Paul Luckern of the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a favourable initial determination in the case called “In the matter of CERTAIN LAMINATED FLOOR PANELS” brought by the Unilin group against 32 respondents. The decision affirms the validity of Unilin US patents US 6,490,836 and US 6,874,292 and recommends the issuance of a General Exclusion Order that would prohibit infringing products from being imported into the US.
The ITC is an independent federal agency that, among other things, determines import injury to U.S. industries and directs actions against unfair trade practices involving patent, trademark, and copyright infringement.
Unilin has been a pioneer in glueless hard floor panels technology and enjoys great success with its patented glue-free Uniclic® installation system in the market place. In early 2005, Unilin noticed increasing volumes of infringing goods in the US, with increasing potential for disrupting Unilin’s relationships with its distribution partners, its retailers and its licensed partners.
The administrative law judge has found that all of the respondents have imported one or more products that infringe Unilin’s US ‘836 patent. The judge has further found all respondents in violation of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930.
The judge has recommended that because of the nature of respondents actions and the likelihood that others could also seek to import similarly infringing products, that the ITC issue a General Exclusion Order. The General Exclusion Order would prohibit any person, not limited to the named respondents, from importing into the United States infringing laminated floor panels.
“Unilin is very pleased with the outcome” says Frans De Cock, CEO of the Unilin group. “We have always had a strong commitment to protect our customers and our intellectual property. Unilin has invested in US manufacturing, has acquired a core-board plant to become the first integrated laminate flooring manufacturer in the US, has further invested in developing its Quick-step ® brand through independent distribution and believes this decision will help Unilin to protect the legitimate interests of its distribution partners, its retailers and its licensed partners from illegal competition.”
Unilin is part of Mohawk Industries, Inc., a leading supplier of flooring for both residential and commercial applications listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Mohawk offers a complete selection of broadloom carpet, ceramic tile, wood, stone, laminate, vinyl, rugs and other home products. These products are marketed under the premier brands in the industry, which include Mohawk, Karastan, Ralph Lauren, Lees, Bigelow, Dal-Tile, Quick-Step and American Olean. Mohawk's unique merchandising and marketing assist its customers in creating the consumers' dream. Mohawk provides a premium level of service with its own trucking fleet and over 250 local distribution locations. More information can be found at www.mohawkind.com