Innovations4Flooring (I4F) said it has won a court case against Unilin Beheer B.V. to nullify the Dutch part of Unilin patent EP 1 026 341 (EP’341).

The first instance decision was taken by the District Court of The Hague in the Netherlands following proceedings filed against Unilin by I4F in 2014.

Unilin said it will appeal the decision.

In a press release announcing the court victory, I4F stated, “Today’s ruling means that the Dutch part of Unilin’s patent EP’341 is fully nullified and must be regarded as having never existed. This effectively releases flooring manufacturers and distributors from the obstruction created by Unilin’s patent. The judge also ruled that I4F’s locking technology, Click4U, does not infringe EP’341 in Europe."

Unilin disagreed. “The first instance decision on invalidity has no effect until an appeal decision. The decision relates to the validity of only the Dutch part of Unilin's EP 1 026 341. It has no effect on the validity of foreign counterparts of EP 1 026 341 in other countries besides the Netherlands. As a result, this decision will have no effect on products using the patented pretension technology which are manufactured or sold outside the Netherlands.”

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