I4F, Välinge Innovation AB and Unilin have entered separate, confidential settlement agreements to withdraw from all pending litigation in the U.S. and Europe.
Various on-going litigation during the last five years between the parties has led to continuous legal uncertainty, costs and commercial risks in the global flooring market. To put an end to these detrimental effects on innovation, investment and competition, the parties have agreed to settle their disputes.
On Oct. 27, Välinge signed a settlement agreement with I4F. With this settlement, Välinge’s licensees are assured access to a comprehensive patent portfolio covering different aspects of new material flooring products, as well as protection against unwanted risks of claims of infringement. Välinge said it is satisfied that this settlement permits all parties to now focus on their business and innovation activities.
Under the settlement agreement between Unilin and I4F, both parties have given each other’s respective licensees the possibility, under specific conditions, to expand the scope of protection on each other’s patents. The complaint that Unilin filed before the International Trade Commission (ITC) will, however, remain in place as to parties that have not opted to expand their protection to the Unilin patents. In this ITC complaint, Unilin said it requested a general exclusion order to empower U.S. customs to block all patent infringing vinyl products at the U.S. border. A decision from the ITC judges is expected in the first half of 2020.
I4F said it believes these confidential settlement agreements are the best possible outcome for its licensees and all parties as it enables business to move forward with a focus on innovation.