|Unilin strengthens US patent protection for WPC products||Unilin strengthens US patent protection for WPC products||2016-08-15T22:00:00Z|
On July 25, 2016, Unilin obtained a Notice of Allowance from the US Patent Office for US 15/172,465 which generally protects glueless flooring products with a WPC base layer having a thickness of 2 to 10 millimeters, and a vinyl top layer. The patent will expire mid-2031.
This patent is the fifth US patent that Unilin will receive on the specific WPC category in the last year. WPC patents that have already been granted to Unilin in the US in this period are US 9,080,330, US 9,163,414, US 9,212,494 and US 9,366,037. Additional patent applications which protect several other aspects of the WPC technology are still pending and are expected to be granted soon.
"These patents and the additional patent applications, which all protect important aspects of WPC flooring innovations, are the result of Unilin's continuous research and development in WPC technology", states Bart Van der Stockt of Unilin's IP business unit. "As a consequence, Unilin has been able to obtain early and strong world-wide patent protection in this growing flooring category."
The WPC patent portfolio compliments Unilin's strong LVT patent portfolio. Since 2013, the US Patent Office has also awarded several patents that protect important aspects of the LVT flooring category (for example US 8,627,631 , US 8,793,958 , US 9,200,460 , and US 8,549,807). A number of further LVT patent applications are still pending and are expected to be granted soon.
In the past year, Unilin has also entered into agreements with Välinge and US Floors by which Unilin is able to license out the LVT and WPC patents of Välinge, Mannington and US Floors, in addition to its own WPC and LVT patent portfolio.