Waregem, Belgium—On Dec. 5, 2022, the U.S. International Trade Commission (U.S. ITC) ordered to seize and forfeit containers of SPC products imported by an international buyer from Georgia, since these products violated the General Exclusion Order regarding Unilin’s click SPC patents.
“The General Exclusion Order was issued by the U.S. ITC on Sept. 16, 2020, and since then several seizure and forfeiture orders were issued by the ITC against companies that import patent infringing SPC products,” said John Haynes, partner of Unilin’s external U.S. IP law firm Alston & Bird.
According to Sophie Demuenynck, legal director of Unilin Technologies, Unilin has been a pioneer in the research and development of flooring technologies since the 1990’s. “In the meantime, Unilin built a network of more than 350 licensed partners using one or more of Unilin’s patented technologies,” Demuenynck said. “Protecting the business of these licensed partners is one of the cornerstones of our strategy, so we will spare no efforts to stop unlicensed infringing products that cause unfair competition for our partners.”
Demuenyck also said the General Exclusion Order, together with the renowned L2C label system, creates a level playing field for the company’s licensed partners as it gives importers, distributors and retailers a straightforward tool to recognize legitimate products and to avoid legal actions.