Dallas—Additional LVT manufacturers have entered into license arrangements with Flooring Industries, the intellectual property (IP) company of the Unilin Group. Currently, more than 35 companies have already created license agreements with Flooring Industries for the manufacture and sale of glueless LVT products.
Flooring Industries strengthened its patent position in 2011 by entering into a cooperation agreement with Windmöller Consulting, through which the Unilin licensees had the possibility to obtain extra patent protection on specific Windmöller patents that covered certain glueless LVT products.
In addition, Flooring Industries is now also able to enforce and commercialize the Pergo patent portfolio after the recent acquisition of Pergo by its parent company, Mohawk. Pergo also has specific patents that cover glueless LVT products. Flooring Industries, Pergo and Windmöller have already started to take actions against manufacturers and distributors who are doing business with glueless LVT products that infringe on their patents.
“Exceptionally strong patent protection, together with continuous technical support for our licensees, motivated the large majority of the LVT manufacturers to enter into a license agreement with Unilin,” said Bart Van der Stockt, managing director of Flooring Industries. “We developed the first commercial clic LVT with our Asian partners in 2009 and have built a lot of clic LVT know-how together with these partners throughout the years. At the last Domotex exhibition in Hannover, Germany, we introduced the latest innovation in the LVT business, the Multifit fold-down solution which can be applied to LVT panels.”
The glueless LVT licensees of Unilin’s IP companies currently are (from China): Yi Hua Plastics, Eletile Plastic, Jinka, Novalis, Changlong Plastics, Kingdom Plastics, K&C Plastic, Potiloor, SS Floor, Jianchen Bonie, Tiantai Feima, Lodgi Woods, Daou, Senhong, Licheer, Golden-burg, Oulong, Jinhai Anti Static, Runchang, Lingdian, Beier, TianZhen, Huajing, Hong-run, Jihnfeng, MGM, Nan Sing Plastics, and Handsome Plastics; (from Korea) NOX, Adore Floors, Daejin and Intree; (from Germany) Classen, Parador and Windmoller; (from Belgium) Unilin and IVC.
Most of these companies are indeed selling to the U.S., noted Van der Stockt. “I don’t believe clic LVT is being manufactured in the U.S. nowadays. What this means is Asian companies manufacture all the clic LVT currently sold in the U.S. Since the large majority of the Asian LVT manufacturers are licensed with Unilin, there will definitely be many companies on the list that are manufacturing for U.S. companies.”
Flooring Industries presented the latest LVT technologies, including Multifit, 3mm clic LVT, strengthened locks, etc., at the recent Domotex asia/ChinaFloor market.
For more on these technologies or Unilin’s LVT patent portfolio, visit uniclic.com.