Interface Prevails in Patent Infringement Suit

Atlanta, GA, September 24-- Kilpatrick Stockton LLP today announced termination of patent litigation between its client Interface, Inc. and Milliken & Company (Milliken v. Interface) and entry of judgment on a jury verdict invalidating two Milliken patents. Milliken sued Interface in October 2002 in the U.S. District Court in Greenville, South Carolina and simultaneously filed similar cases against Shaw and Mohawk. Milliken, a textile and chemical manufacturing company based in South Carolina, had accused all three companies of infringement of Milliken patents for cushion back carpet tile and sought damages from each defendant. The Interface and Mohawk cases were tried for three weeks in May to a jury in Greenville, South Carolina, with Shaw settling just days beforehand. The issues that went to the jury were validity of two Milliken patents, alleged infringement of the patents by Interface, and possible damages. Interface challenged the patents as invalid, obvious, derived from third parties and not infringed. After deliberation of less than one hour, the jury awarded Interface a victory finding both patents invalid and neither infringed by Interface, which eliminated all damages questions. Defenses that the Milliken patents were procured through inequitable conduct before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office were severed for separate consideration by the judge without the jury, and a hearing on those claims occurred July 26, 2004. Two hours into that hearing counsel for Interface announced to the court that Interface and Milliken had reached a mutually agreeable settlement of the entire litigation, including counterclaims against Milliken for infringement of Interface patents that had been scheduled for trial in September 2004. Only the Mohawk case remained before the court, and at the conclusion of the inequitable conduct phase of the Mohawk litigation, judgment was entered September 15, 2004 on the May 24, 2004 jury verdict of invalidity of the Milliken patents.

Related Topics:Shaw Industries Group, Inc., Mohawk Industries, Interface