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Dec 17, 2018

I4F demands the withdrawal of a wrongful allegation by Välinge

  • No link between Välinge’s German court case based on EP´665 and I4F’s 3L TripleLock technology 
  • Mannington patents already declared non-enforceable in the US
  • EP’665 likely to expire before final decision

WILLEMSTAD, CURAÇAO – I4F, a group of companies providing patents and technologies to the flooring industry, today announced that it has requested Välinge’s withdrawal of a wrongful allegation outlined in Välinge’s press release dated December 11, 2018. I4F clarified that no specific link exists between I4F’s technology, 3L TripleLock, and the German part of Välinge’s Mannington patent EP 2 248 665 (EP´665) subject to the German court filing against Belgian distributor, Oneflor Europe.

Furthermore, I4F is of the opinion that the Mannington patent referred to in Välinge’s filing is invalid. This opinion is based on the fact Välinge lost the right to enforce four US counterparts of EP’665 in the United States in May 2018. Despite earlier proceedings before the European Patent Office, patent EP’665 is also currently under scrutiny as part of invalidation proceedings initiated by I4F before the Federal Patent Court in Munich, Germany. Additionally, patent EP’665 is at the end of its lifetime and will expire in 2020.

The company said, “Yet again, we are unfortunately forced to react to inaccurate and misleading public statements from Välinge. We see absolutely no link between this court case and I4F’s 3L TripleLock technology. We consider this false allegation as anti-competitive and yet another desperate attempt from Välinge to damage I4F’s rapidly growing position in the global flooring industry. We are confident that the Oneflor product, using UWC Windmöller patents represented by I4F, does not infringe on Välinge’s soon to expire EP’665 patent.”

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