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US ITC orders Customs Office to seize laminate floor panels that infringe Unilin’s glueless locking patentsUS ITC orders Customs Office to seize laminate floor panels that infringe Unilin’s glueless locking patents2014-09-02T22:00:00Z

Seizure and Forfeiture Orders were issued by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) against multiple companies attempting to import containers of laminate flooring that infringe Unilin's pioneering glueless locking patents. The companies were first warned of Unilin's General Exclusion Order prohibiting the import of infringing laminate flooring.  Nevertheless, because they chose to ignore those warnings, the ITC issued  Seizure and Forfeiture Orders empowering the US Customs Office to seize all infringing products imported into the United States.  

Further, in March 2014, Unilin filed several patent infringement suits in federal district court in California against multiple companies and individuals that are active in the importation and distribution of unlicensed glueless flooring panels.  The suits were filed to collect money owed to Unilin for past infringement.  

Some years ago, Unilin also put in place its "L2C" holographic label program to support its licensees. The L2C program requires Chinese licensees of Unilin and Välinge to attach a unique holographic label to each box of licensed product.  The L2C label allows Unilin and Customs to easily identify unlicensed products from those licensed for importation.   The program will be extended to more countries shortly as more and more licensees and buyers appreciate the value of the L2C labels. More information on the L2C label program can be found on www.L2Clabels.com.   

Companies have tried to avoid the ITC General Exclusion Order by using counterfeit labels. Products using counterfeit L2C labels, however, will also be seized and destroyed by Customs. Christine Walmsley-Scott, legal counsel of Unilin's IP division stressed this point: "Such products with counterfeit labels not only infringe Unilin's glueless locking patents, but also infringe Unilin's trademarks and copyrights. We are closely working with US Customs Officials and with our attorneys in North-America to have such counterfeit products seized. We are therefore advising all buyers and retailers of Chinese glueless locking flooring products to get guarantees from their suppliers that the holographic L2C labels applied onto their products are genuine as provided to them by Unilin representatives."

 

The companies caught attempting to import infringing products, and against whom Seizure and Forfeiture Orders have been issued, include the following: 

  • All American Hardwood, Inc, 1960 S. Carlos Ave, Ontario, CA 90802
  • Hawk Wood Flooring Inc., 20855 Currier Rd., Walnut, CA 91789
  • S&S Hardwood Floor Supply of Gardena Inc., 5205 W. Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019
  • Woody & Lamy Floor Inc., 11122 Shoemaker Ave., Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
  • Home Floor Inc, 9722 Daines Drive, Temple City, CA 91780
  • Harmanto DBA Maximus Flooring, 1613 Chelsea Rd Ste 348, San Marino, CA 91108-2419
  • Lucky Step, Inc, 18971 Arenth Ave, City of Industry, CA 91748.
  • Linco Enterprises Inc, 895 S. Rockefeller Ave. # 101, Ontario, CA 97761
  • Overseas Chinese Cultural Association, 9631 Las Tunas Dr. Ste. E-3, Temple City, CA 91780
  • Topstar Flooring LLC, 9133 Garvey Ave., Rosemead, CA 91770-3336
  • Smartwood Flooring Inc., 13668 Valley Blvd., City of Industry, CA 91746
  • Christina & Son Inc. DBA KC Industries Co, 1613 Chelsea Rd. # 348, San Marino, CA 91108

 

Any questions concerning this announcement should be addressed to Unilin's legal IP department:

 

Uniclic.legal@unilin.com
+352 2700 4183

 

 

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