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International Trade Commission confirms Unilin's ITC Ruling

30/09/2020
NEWS
  • On the 16th of September, 2020, the US International Trade Commission (ITC) confirmed the Initial Determination of the 15th of May 2020 rendered by ITC Judge Shaw. All asserted Unilin patents were again considered valid and infringed, and a General Exclusion Order was issued to prevent all importation of PVC based products falling under the Unilin patents without license or other permission.
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Unilin’s IP division files infringement action against Windmöller in Düsseldorf, Germany

21/09/2018

• Second patent infringement case against Windmöller GmbH resilient products
• Patent relates to resilient flooring panels having a folddown locking system
• End PI case  in contractual dispute with Windmöller

On September 20, 2018, Flooring Industries, Unilin’s IP division, filed a new court case before the Landgericht Düsseldorf against Windmöller GmbH for infringement of European Patent EP 2 843 155. The infringement action is directed against Windmöller’s alleged infringing sales of resilient products, which are amongst others marketed under the brands Wineo Designboden and Wineo Purline Bioboden.

The grant of the patent EP 2 843 155, which protects resilient floor panels having a folddown locking system, was published by the European Patent Office on April 12, 2017. An opposition against the patent was filed by Patentwerk, the patent firm of Innovations4Flooring (I4F), on January 4, 2018. Flooring Industries is confident that the European Patent Office will confirm the validity of the already granted patent.

In the Düsseldorf court case against Windmöller, Flooring Industries is requesting an injunction preventing Windmöller from further manufacturing and selling such folddown resilient products, and damages for past sales. Flooring Industries is expecting such first instance decision within 12 months.

This case is following on a first complaint (link) which was filed by Unilin against Windmöller on September 12, 2018 regarding the European patent EP 2 588 311, which protects resilient products having a reinforcement (e.g. fiberglass) layer.

Also on September 20, Flooring Industries decided to no longer pursue the preliminary injunction action that was currently ongoing before the Düsseldorf appeal court and which related to the question whether Windmöller has the right to terminate its exclusive sublicense agreement with Flooring Industries on the Windmöller patent rights and offer licenses on such patents by themselves. While Flooring Industries remains convinced that Windmöller’s termination is invalid, and that Windmöller does not have the right to grant licenses on the Windmöller patent rights, it sees no further value in pursuing this case in appeal, so that the focus can be on the two recently filed infringement cases, without these being disturbed by this case.

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