Card Monroe Corp. Wins ColorPoint Patent Infringement Case

Chattanooga, TN, March 15, 2018-After approximately three years of litigation, the patent infringement suit brought by Card Monroe Corp. (CMC) against Tuftco Corp. (Tuftco) for infringement of CMC’s United States Patents Nos. 8,141,505, 8,359,989, and 8,776,703 has been officially concluded. 

The case, Civil Action No. 1:14 CV 292, was filed by CMC in federal court asserting infringement of CMC’s U.S. patents covering its ColorPoint technology by carpet tufting machines manufactured, used, sold, and/or offered for sale by Tuftco under the names ColorTuft, iTuft c, Colortuft Graphics, iTuft 5c, and iTuft 6c, configured to perform the ColorTuft or Easy Pattern method of operation. 

The parties settled the litigation on November 6, 2017 and on November 9, 2017, an Agreed Order of Dismissal and Permanent Injunction was entered by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Chattanooga on November 9, 2017. 

According to the terms of the agreement, the parties agreed that the CMC patents are valid and enforceable. The Order also provides that the Tuftco carpet tufting machines configured to perform the ColorTuft or Easy Pattern method, including Tuftco’s ColorTuft, iTuft c, Colortuft Graphics, iTuft 5c, and iTuft 6c tufting machines, did indeed infringe or could be used to infringe one or more claims of the CMC patents. Moreover, this Order includes the entry of a permanent injunction whereby Tuftco:

“… is enjoined from making, selling, offering for sale, using, shipping, importing, exporting and distributing single needle bar ColorTuft/iTuft c machines and any other single needle bar pattern machines having a different name that are configured to perform the ColorTuft/Easy Pattern method or the same method under any other name (including any such machines that perform the method through the use of design or yarn optimization software) (collectively the “ColorTuft/Easy Pattern method).”

The injunction granted to CMC under this Agreed Order of Dismissal and Permanent Injunction further requires Tuftco to “implement a hard stitch limitation of 25 stitches per inch on all future single needle bar machines;” eliminate from future single needle bar machines “all code, operator screens, or other inputs that are designed to facilitate a customer’s use of the ColorTuft/Easy Pattern method;” refrain from providing assistance that would enable or aid customers or competitors to perform the ColorTuft/Easy Pattern method on single needle bar tufting machines, as well as developing or selling any software to facilitate the design of ColorTuft/Easy Tuft Patterns on single needle bar tufting machines; and refrain from modifying or assisting in the modification of any machines in the field to enable them to perform the Colortuft/Easy Pattern on a single needle bar machine. As to double needle bar machines, CMC has granted a limited license under the CMC Patents to Tuftco for its continued production of double needle bar machines only. A full description of all of the restrictions provided by the permanent injunction component of the Agreed Order of Dismissal and Permanent Injunction can be found in the text of the Order. 

Throughout its history, CMC has, and continues to pursue new and emerging technologies, building on the success of its ColorPoint technology as well developing new technologies and improvements relating to all aspects of tufting machines and the tufting process. Given its substantial investment in developing the ColorPoint technology, CMC felt it had no choice but to defend its technology and intellectual property rights, and is pleased that it was able to resolve the litigation with Tuftco, including obtaining the Agreed Order of Dismissal and Permanent Injunction.