KronoGroup Switzerland, the parent company of laminate flooring maker Kronotex USA, has struck licensing agreements with Unilin and Valinge, the holders of the major patents for glueless click installation systems used in laminate flooring. These agreements ensure that all Kronotex products will be protected from patent-infringement lawsuits, KronoGroup Switzerland says.

Norm Voss, president and ceo of Kronotex USA, said the licensing agreements were made partly to help ease customers' minds. "We didn't think we could expect our customers to continue to face legal uncertainty," Voss said, noting that glueless clicking technologies have exposed some retailers to potentially damaging patent infringement suits. "It was upsetting business, affecting the growth of the product line and raising unfair questions about our integrity.

"If you're carrying a Kronotex product, you are covered from any possible patent infringement, no matter who audits your product," Voss added.