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May 29, 2019

I4F files IPR petition at the PTAB to nullify Unilin’s U.S. Patent ’460

  •  I4F takes action to protect licensees against unwarranted litigation from Mohawk/Unilin 
  • U.S. Patent ‘460 is asserted by Mohawk/Unilin in their recent ITC complaint
  • I4F preparing further actions to protect its licensees and freedom of choice

WILLEMSTAD, CURAÇAO – I4F, a group of companies providing patents and technologies to the flooring industry, announced that today it will file an inter partes review (IPR) petition at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to nullify Unilin’s U.S. Patent No. 9,200,460. I4F will demonstrate that Unilin’s ’460 patent is invalid in view of prior art showing that the claimed features were known in the flooring industry well before the date upon which the ’460 patent was filed.

It is expected that the PTAB will render a decision on whether to institute the IPR within the next six months. A final written decision is expected to be issued by the PTAB no later than twelve months after the decision to institute the IPR.

Mohawk/Unilin are asserting the ‘460 patent against dozens of Chinese manufacturers and exporters, as well as many US importers and distributors, in connection with an ITC complaint they recently submitted to the US International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. Many of the accused manufacturers are Unilin’s own licensees.

I4F believes that the invalidation of the ‘460 patent, in combination with the expected successful defense of the ITC action, will free the flooring industry from unjustified royalties and trade barriers. I4F is also preparing a series of actions to further protect its licensees.

I4F says, “Unilin’s patents have been imposed on the flooring industry for far too long, and their invalidation will positively impact the industry’s ability to choose the technology they, and their customers, prefer. We are confident that our licensees and customers are protected against these claims, and will continue to do everything in our power, to preserve freedom of choice for global flooring manufacturers. The removal of the fear management approach being adopted by Unilin is long overdue.”

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