Firm brings patent suit against nine stretch film producers

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: February 22, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Packaging, Public Policy, Film & Sheet

MEMPHIS, TENN. (Updated Feb. 23, 4:05 p.m. ET) — A technology licensing firm has filed a lawsuit against nine plastic film producers – including some of the industry’s biggest names - claiming that they are violating a patent on stretch cling film.

Multilayer Stretch Cling Film Holdings Inc. filed six lawsuits against those nine firms on Feb. 10 in U.S. District Court in Memphis, Tenn. Multilayer is a Wilmington, Del.-based firm that bought the patent from global stretch film processor Manuli Stretch Film Group SpA of Milan, Italy.

The nine firms named in the lawsuit are Alpha Industries Inc., Berry Plastics Corp., Inteplast Group Ltd., AmTopp Corp., Malpack Ltd., Alliance Plastics LLC, Intertape Polymer Group Inc., AEP Industries Inc. and Sigma Stretch Film. Berry, Sigma, Inteplast and AEP rank among North America’s 10 largest film and sheet makers, according to a recent Plastics News ranking. Intertape is in the top 25.

AmTopp is a unit of Inteplast. Alpha and Sigma both are owned by Sigma Plastics Group. Alliance resells film for Malpack, but does not make its own film.

Multilayer is seeking unspecified past damages, as well as forward licensing fees from those nine firms, according to attorney Melissa Hunter Smith. Hunter Smith is with the Nashville, Tenn.-based law firm of Stites & Harbison PLLC, which is representing Multilayer.

If the defendant firms don’t agree to license the patent technology, Multilayer will seek permanent injunctions preventing them from making film based on the patent, Hunter Smith said in a Feb. 22 phone interview.

“We’re not sure how much film has been made using this technology, but we believe it’s a lot,” she added.

Paragon Films Inc. already has agreed to license the technology. The patent covers stretch cling films of seven or more layers. The patented films claim to be stronger and more versatile than previous films, and also claim to provide economic and environmental benefits because they can be made at a lower cost per square foot.

Officials with Sigma in Lyndhurst, N.J.; and with Intertape in Montreal declined to comment on the case. Officials at AEP, Berry, Malpack, Alliance and Inteplast could not be reached for comment.

No court dates have been set in the case. In 2010, Multilayer and Stites & Harbison won a similar lawsuit against Pinnacle Films Inc. That suit resulted in a settlement of more than $2 million, which was paid by Pinnacle’s bankruptcy estate. The firm filed for bankruptcy shortly before the case was to go to trial. Inteplast – one of the firms named in the new lawsuits - bought Pinnacle’s assets as part of that bankruptcy.

Manuli had acquired the patent in 2007 when it bought Quintec Films Group. Quintec originally had filed the suit against Pinnacle in 2006. Manuli recently stopped film production at its North American plant in Shelbyville, Tenn., opting instead to import products from other Manuli plants to supply U.S. customers.

The suits are the first patent infringement cases filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee since its selection for the federal Patent Pilot Program. That program is designed to enhance expertise in patent cases among U.S. district judges.


Comments

Firm brings patent suit against nine stretch film producers

By Frank Esposito
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: February 22, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Brown signs California's plastic bag ban into law

September 30, 2014 1:38 pm ET

Gov. Jerry Brown (D) made it official today: plastic bags are banned across the entire state of California.    More

Image

Teens put a cap on watery ketchup

September 30, 2014 1:57 pm ET

Whether you spell it ketchup or catsup, use it on burgers or fries, or prefer Heinz or Hunt's, there is one universal problem for the ages: That...    More

Image

Toyoda Gosei pleads guilty, agrees to $26 million fine for price fixing

September 30, 2014 11:27 am ET

Toyoda Gosei Co. Ltd. has pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a $26 million fine for its alleged role in an international conspiracy to rig bids and fix ...    More

Image

Amcor planning more growth in Asia

September 30, 2014 10:24 am ET

Flexible packaging firm Amcor Ltd. is rapidly expanding its presence in the Asian market. The company's top official in the region said it will soon...    More

Image

Uflex to build large flexible packaging plant in western India

September 30, 2014 10:01 am ET

Flexible packaging company Uflex Ltd. is planning a major new plant in the western Indian state of Gujarat.    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our industry analysis highlights macro industry trends and micro trends faced by companies that do business in Mexico. The report also provides key industry statistics and forecasts to anticipate future industry expansion.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Injection Molders Market Report & Ranking 2014

This special package contains our 132-page 2014 Market Report on the Injection Molding segment and our exclusive 2014 RANKINGS database of 500+ Injection Molders for a discounted package price.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events