Viken, Sweden - September 15, 2003
International Trade Commission: the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit confirms validity of Välinge´s US patents.
On September 10th 2003, the Court of Appeals rendered its judgement in the appeal-case (the respondens were Pergo Inc, Unilin, BHK, Meister-Leisten, Roysol and Akzenta paneele + profile) that the Berry Group and Välinge Innovation AB had filed against the initial ruling of the International Trade Commission.
The Court of Appeals expressly confirms the validity and enforceability of the three U.S. patents of Välinge (one product patent and two method patents) relating to glue-free flooring systems. The Court of Appeals further states that ‘play’ is an essential feature of these three patents. “Play” is a technical feature that enables an easy installation and disassembly of glue free flooring products. One of the three judges had a dissenting opinion. The judgement means that Välinge´s U.S. patents 5 860 267, 6 023 907 and 6 182 410 do now have a play requirement. Välinge has been granted several other patents in the U.S. that do not have this play requirement and that stands unaffected by this decision.
The patents continue to protect Välinge´s invention and Berry’s glue free flooring products.
Välinge and Berry are now going forward with litigation in District Courts against a number of suspected infringers on the basis of the three patents as they have been ruled upon by the Court of Appeals, as well as on the basis of several other U.S. patents.
Välinge Innovation developed the world’s first mechanical locking system for laminate and wood flooring. Flooring with a mechanical locking system enables glue-free floor laying and in recent years has captured substantial market shares from traditional glued floors. Välinge holds an extensive patent portfolio including six European patents (and two soon to be granted) and eleven U.S. patents The company’s licensees include many leading international laminate and wood floor producers.
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