– Improper scare-mongering by Unilin during Domotexasia/CHINAFLOOR 2019
– I4F will continue to support its partners and fight this attempt at monopolization
– I4F confident products using its patented technologies are unaffected
WILLEMSTAD, CURAÇAO– I4F, a group of companies providing patents and technologies to the flooring industry, today responded to Unilin’s news release, dated 26 March 2019, in which it describes the filing of a complaint against virtually all Chinese manufacturers before the International Trade Commission (ITC). I4F is calling Unilin’s action improper scare-mongering, and an outright attack on free trade as well as freedom of choice, as this attempts to obstruct US consumers from selecting flooring products they prefer.
No exclusion orders would be entered before at least one year, to eighteen months, meaning that imports to the US will continue during this period. I4F believes the timing of this filing, i.e. during Domotexasia/CHINAFLOOR 2019, is an attempt by Unilin to undermine, if not sabotage, I4F’s relations with its fast-growing number of licensees.
I4F is of the opinion that Unilin’s filing is another attempt to monopolize and extract unwarranted license fees from the industry. Unilin’s request for the exclusion of certain products goes against public interest and infringes a consumer’s freedom to choose. I4F also believes that the asserted patents from Unilin are invalid in view of extensive prior art.
I4F is confident that in the unlikely event of a general exclusion order, products using I4F’s patented technologies will remain unaffected. The 2007 ITC ruling mentioned by Unilin is misleading as it has nothing to do with this filing, and, furthermore, I4F products did not fall under this ruling.
The company said, “I4F will take action to support its partners in order to overcome this type of commercial “bullying” once and for all!”
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I4F is an innovations group focused on the development of patents and technologies for the flooring industry. Its portfolio includes IP for flooring installation and wall mounting systems, material compositions, surface treatment as well as laminate and board production technologies. I4F has strategic partnerships with the industry’s most important IP players, including Classen, Kronospan, UWC and Kowon. The company’s flagship technologies, 3L TripleLock and Click4U, provide a unique one piece drop-lock installation technique for flooring panels that eliminates the need for an additional insert on the short side. The solution is suitable for laminate, luxury vinyl tiles, extended polymer core, solid polymer core and wooden flooring panels. International patents and patent applications for I4F’s technologies have been granted and filed in over 100 countries worldwide.