Quintec Films Corp. of Shelbyville, Tenn., has filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Pinnacle Films Inc. of Charlotte, N.C., related to seven-layer stretch film technology.
Quintec filed its complaint Sept. 1 in U.S. District Court in Winchester, Tenn. The company said infringement frequently has caused confusion among its customers. Quintec makes seven-layer stretch films and other seven-layer specialty packaging films at its facility in Shelbyville.
Pinnacle also focuses on seven-layer films, at its facility in Charlotte, President Bill Rice said Oct. 31 at Pack Expo in Chicago.
``This is an issue that has been going on for quite awhile,'' he said. ``I do not believe their patent to be valid and we do not believe we are infringing. I view this as a nonevent. I do not believe it will impact our business at all.''
Rice started Pinnacle in 1999, focusing exclusively on seven-layer cast film using metallocene linear low density polyethylene.
Quintec was incorporated in 1998 and claims to be the manufacturer of the world's first seven-layer stretch film.
Marty Leonard, Quintec vice president, said in a Nov. 1 e-mail that the infringement matter has been an ongoing issue, but the Patent and Trademark Office already has ruled that Quintec's patent is valid.
``We are more confident than ever in the strength of our patent and the rights it provides us,'' Leonard said.
``We have been and will continue patient and let patent laws rule the coming events in this matter,'' he said.
``We are not sure how this will impact the business for Pinnacle or us, but Quintec Films does plan to enforce [its rights]. ... To simply view this as a nonevent doesn't seem prudent.''
Meanwhile, both firms have added capacity to make stretch film, they announced at the show, held Oct. 28 to Nov. 2 in Chicago.
Pinnacle Films started one new seven-layer cast film production line earlier this year - its third, Rice said.
``As we continue to grow, we'll be looking to add another line,'' he said.
His firm has experienced 17 percent sales growth. The third line boosted the company's production capacity to nearly 64 million pounds.
``I believe this is a healthy segment of the plastics business,'' he said. ``It's going to continue to expand.''
Quintec announced a completely new line of stretch films launched Nov. 1. For that product line, officials installed a new seven-layer cast line.
The line is Quintec's second, Leonard said, and boosts capacity to 40 million pounds.