|Unilin wins important patent infringement suit in the US ||Unilin wins important patent infringement suit in the US ||2007-01-07T23:00:00Z|
January 5th 2007, the United States International Trade Commission (ITC), issued a notice that based on an investigation initiated in response to a Complaint filed by Unilin against certain companies that import laminated flooring products into the United States, it has determined there has been shown to be a violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 based on the infringement of nine asserted claims of three Unilin patents. The Complaint was filed by Unilin in July 2005 against 32 companies from Canada, China, South Korea, Malaysia and the U.S.. The Complaint asserted that the named respondents were importing laminated flooring products into the United States that infringed one or more of 9 asserted claims from 3 U.S. patents protecting Unilin’s technology for the glueless hard flooring panels, namely U.S. Patent No. 6,490,836 (the ’836 patent), US Patent No. 6,874,292 (the ’292 patent), and U.S. Patent No. 6,928,779 (the ’779 patent).
The ITC’s decision confirms the validity of all 9 asserted claims from all three asserted U.S. Patents. The ITC’s decision thereby expands the scope of the initial determination by the Administrative Law Judge that had found a violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, and recommended the issuance of a General Exclusion Order based on the infringement of three asserted claims of Unilin ’836 patent.
The ITC further announced that based on its finding of a violation of Section 337 that it has determined that the appropriate form of relief is to issue a General Exclusion Order prohibiting the entry into the United States of any unlicensed laminated floor panels covered by claims 1, 2, 10, 18 and 23 of the ’836 patent, claims 3 and 4 of the ’292 patent, and claims 5 and 7 of the ’779 patent.
A general exclusion order has effect not only on the companies named in the suit, but applies to any company that seeks to import laminated floor panels into the U.S..
The ITC has further ordered that any laminated floor panels that would be covered by the General Exclusion Order which are imported into the U.S. during the next 60 days of the Presidential period of review, shall be subject to a bond of 100 percent of the entered value. A copy of the ITC’s Final Determination providing additional information has not yet been received, but is expected to be available shortly.
Unilin is very pleased with the decision of the ITC as this confirms again the strength of Unilin’s glueless assembly technology. The technology has been become the standard in the industry and has successfully been licensed to many other industry players. But this technology has also given rise to infringements on the patents that protect the technology. Unilin has never hesitated to enforce its patents against infringements. This has already resulted in favourable rulings by in Europe, Asia-Pacific and now in the U.S. Unilin is now more than ever committed to protect its patented technology.
About the ITC: The ITC is an independent federal agency determining import injury to U.S. industries in antidumping, countervailing duty, and global and China safeguard investigations: directing actions against unfair trade practices involving patent, trademark, and copyright infringement. More information can be found at www.usitc.gov.
About Unilin: UNILIN, part of the Mohawk group, is a leading manufacturer, distributor and marketer of laminate flooring in Europe and the United States. Unilin is one of the leaders in laminate flooring technology, having developed the patented Uniclic glueless installation system and a variety of other groundbreaking technologies. The company also produces insulated roofing and other wood-based panels