The Conair vs. Novatec dryer lawsuit has ended with a mere change to product literature wording but the war of words goes on.
Conair Group Inc. of Cranberry Township, Pa., dropped its patent infringement lawsuit against Baltimore-based Novatec Inc. after Novatec agreed to add a sentence to its product literature and Web site information about its Intelli PET Drying System.
The legal skirmish between the auxiliary equipment companies lasted just short of 10 weeks although Conair said in the dismissal document that it is expressly reserving the right to refile the complaint if Novatec misrepresents any promise over the issue.
Conair filed the suit April 15 in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, claiming the Intelli PET infringed on its patent. The lawsuit took aim at former Conair executive Conrad Bessemer, who left in 2006 to head a group that bought Novatec.
The suit says: This case involves the added intrigue of Conair's longtime employee and former president, Conrad Bessemer. Conair implied that Novatec, under Bessemer, developed dryers that mimic Conair dryers.
Court documents filed June 22 show the lawsuit has been dismissed.
Novatec issued a news release the next day announcing the dismissal.
Bessemer now Novatec's president and CEO said Novatec was never served with the lawsuit despite a lot of publicity and sensational headlines in Plastics News and other press outlets which accused me personally of copying Conair technology.
Bessemer again denied that Novatec dryers infringe on Conair patents. There was never any intrigue here and there was never any stealing of technology, he said.
Christopher Keller, Conair's president and chief operating officer, spoke briefly about the legal issue in a June 23 interview at Conair's NPE booth.
We filed a complaint in federal court in order to protect our intellectual property, Keller said. We followed up with them to get more information and on the basis of what they told us, and the fact that they agreed to change their product literature, we agreed to withdraw the complaint.
According to court documents, Novatec agreed to rewrite its product-related documents to include wording that hopper-temperature sensors are for monitoring and trending only and do not control the drying process, the court dismissal documents said.
Some plastics processors, Bessemer said, were completely misled by the inflammatory nature of that suit.
It certainly wasn't the lawsuit of the century, Bessemer said.