A patent infringement lawsuit involving J-Channel window frame technology will not be moving to U.S. District Court in New York, where a couple of big-name defendants had wanted to transfer the case.
The request by Home Depot and Silver Line Building Products, which is based in North Brunswick, N.J., was denied. The lawsuit filed last year by J-Channel Industries Corp. will remain in U.S. District Court in Tennessee.
J-Channel Industries is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mellville, N.Y.-based CopyTele Inc. (CTI), which has about 20 patent infringement lawsuits pending against window manufacturers, retailers and home builders in the Tennessee court.
Seven other potential defendants were or will be dismissed after entering into license agreements with J-Channel.
Silver Line, however, maintains in court documents that the windows it manufactures, markets and sells do not infringe on any patent. The company issued a statement saying it is ready to defend that position regardless of venue.
“[U.S. District] Judge [Ronnie] Greer’s decision only denied the parties’ request to transfer the litigation from Tennessee to New York,” the statement says. “Our defenses of non-infringement, invalidity and unenforceability of an expired patent, held by a non-practicing entity, are unaffected by the decision. We will continue to vigorously defend the case in Tennessee and look forward to presenting our arguments on the merits to the Tennessee court.”
In his May 30 opinion, Judge Greer, whose courtroom is in Greenville, Tenn., says he agrees with the New York judge that the convenience of witnesses favors Tennessee. Judge Greer notes that inventor Leland Sayers, now 80, lived in Knoxville and his son, Kendall Sayers, who currently owns U.S. Reissue patent number 40,041, still resides there along with four pallets of materials related to the case.
J-Channel technology allows for easier and faster installation of windows. CTI estimates that U.S. sales of J-Channel windows exceed 10 million annually.
With estimated annual sales of $145 million, Silver Line ranks 25th among North American pipe, profile and tubing extruders, according to the Plastics News 2013 ranking.
Other defendants in the case include Ply Gem Industries, Pella Corp., Jeld-Wen Inc., Atrium Windows and Doors Inc., Comfort View Products LLC, Wincore Window Co., Vinylmax LLC, Simonton Building Products Inc., Magnolia Windows and Doors, Quaker Window Products, Sun Windows, and Weather Shield Manufacturing.
The other businesses that have settled include MI Windows and Doors, YKK AP America, PGT Industries, HWD Acquisitions Inc. (makes vinyl windows sold under the Hurd and SuperSeal brand names), Elixir Industries and Tafco Corp. The Tafco agreement also resolved the lawsuit against Lowe’s.