Hunter Douglas Window Designs, Inc., of Bessemer City, North Carolina, and Springs Window Fashions, LLC of Middleton, Wisconsin, announced recently that they have settled a patent and trademark infringement suit involving combination window shades.
Hunter Douglas had filed suit in October 2011 in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, asserting infringement by Springs of a design patent, U.S. Patent No. D605,885 covering a combination shade consisting of a pleated shade over a cellular shade. Hunter Douglas subsequently added a claim that Springs was infringing trademark rights in the mark ECLIPSE owned by affiliates Hunter Douglas Window Fashions, Inc. and Turnils (UK) Ltd. Springs had asserted defenses and counterclaims alleging that Hunter Douglas' patent and trademark rights were not infringed and were invalid.
As part of a stipulated judgment previously entered in the action relating to the claims for trademark infringement, Springs agreed to stop using the ECLIPSE mark and voluntarily changed the product name to UNISON. The parties have now resolved the remaining claims related to infringement of the design patent at issue. In accordance with the settlement, the specific terms of which were not made public, all remaining claims and counterclaims have been dismissed with prejudice. As part of the settlement, Springs has been granted a nonexclusive license under the design patent at issue, as well as a Canadian counterpart patent.
Both companies announced that they are pleased that this dispute has been resolved amicably.
Hunter Douglas Inc., North America’s leading manufacturer and marketer of custom window coverings, is headquartered in Pearl River, N.Y., and employs approximately 6,000 people in 40 divisions throughout the U.S. and Canada.