Viken, Sweden— Välinge has entered into agreements with Shaw Industries, Windmöller and Classen, securing further extended patent protection (EPP+) for its licensees manufacturing flooring products with mineral-based or thermoplastic-based cores such as LVT, WPC, SPC, MgO and non-PVC based floorings. These agreements remove the future legal and commercial uncertainty for producers and distributors in the flooring market.
“Innovation in this category of flooring has been phenomenal—and has happened at an incredible rate—in recent years,” said Per Nygren, executive vice president, Välinge Innovation. “A natural consequence of that is industry leaders developing and patenting overlapping technologies, which cause blocking effects that can threaten the continued success and growth of resilient flooring. With these agreements, and the others signed in recent years, we have safeguarded the right for our licensees to continue to successfully offer Välinge technology in innovative and beautiful products for their consumers.”
Since 2012, Välinge has been the licensor of certain Classen patent rights related to fold-down installation technology. Välinge has now entered into an agreement with Classen, giving Välinge the right to offer further non-assertion protection on Classen patent rights related to new materials, such as resilient, for product build-up, certain processes and locking systems.
Välinge and USFloors signed a cross-license agreement in 2016, giving Välinge the right to sub-license the IP they had developed related to WPC products. USFloors merged into Shaw in 2017. Välinge has now signed a cross-license agreement with Shaw, giving Välinge the right to a broader IP portfolio.
Furthermore, Välinge has secured the right to sub-license certain Windmöller patents related to, among others, multi-layered PVC products with locking systems and decorative grooves in those products. The previous legal disputes between Välinge/Windmöller and involved licensees have consequently finally come to an end.
Välinge remains the sole proprietor and licensor of its 2G Angling, 5G-i Push Down and 5G Fold Down technologies—and also for Liteback, 5G Climb and 5G Dry, which are rapidly gaining interest and traction in the market, the company said.
These agreements—together with the comprehensive Välinge patent portfolio and the existing agreements with companies such as Unilin, i4F, Vertex and CFL—form an Extended Patent Protection (EPP+) that is offered to Välinge’s licensees to benefit from turnkey solutions including product build-up, processes, locking systems and design features in resilient flooring products.