U.S. seizes SPC products infringing Unilin’s patents
Waregem, Belgium – On December 5, 2022, the US International Trade Commission (US ITC) ordered the seizure and confiscation of containers of SPC products imported from Georgia by an international buyer, as these products were in violation with the general exclusion decision regarding Unilin’s click SPC patents .
“The general exclusion order was issued by the US ITC on September 16, 2020, and since then the ITC has issued several seizure and forfeiture orders against companies importing patent-infringing SPC products,” said John Haynes, partner of Unilin’s third-party US IP law firm Alston & Bird.
According to Sophie Demuenynck, legal director of Unilin Technologies, Unilin has been a pioneer in the research and development of flooring technologies since the 1990s. “Meanwhile, Unilin has built up a network of more than 350 license partners who use one or more of Unilin’s patented technologies,” says Demuenynck. “Protecting the activities of these licensed partners is one of the cornerstones of our strategy, so we will do everything we can to stop infringing unlicensed products that create unfair competition for our partners.”
Demuenyck also said the General Exclusion Order, along with the famed L2C labeling system, creates a level playing field for the company’s licensing partners as it gives importers, distributors and retailers an easy tool to identify legitimate products and avoid legal action.