CHICAGO — Pillar Technologies LP (Booth N5954) and Enercon Industries Corp. (Booth N4880) tentatively agreed to cease their long-running court battle over whether Pillar violated Enercon's patent on corona treatment, officials from both companies said June 17 in interviews at NPE. Corona-treating equipment uses an electric charge to make plastics suitable for printing.
The agreement states that Pillar did not infringe on patents, but it adds that Enercon's patent remains valid, according to John Schlump, president of Pillar, which is based in Hartland, Wis. Pillar had sought to have Enercon's patent declared invalid.
A U.S. District Court in Milwaukee ruled in 1995 that Pillar did not infringe, but Enercon spokesman August Ray said the company had appealed that decision.
The companies said their agreement must be approved by the court.
``Until I'm absolutely sure our legal representatives have signed the final agreement, I'd have to decline comment,'' Ray said.
Enercon, based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., filed the initial complaint in 1986.
The companies reached the new agreement in the past 90 days, Schlump said.
Enercon and Ahlbrandt Systems Inc., based in Lauterbach, Germany, filed a series of lawsuits alleging several counts of patent infringement of corona- treating equipment. But Enercon and Ahlbrandt reduced it to one count by giving patents of some of the contested equipment to the public domain in 1993. The case proceeded with that claim.