A trade coalition of vinyl extruders and window manufacturers reached an out-of-court settlement in a patent lawsuit filed by J-Channel Industries Corp. (JCIC) over window frame technology.
The coalition was able to negotiate the settlement — terms weren't disclosed — based on a “preponderance of prior art and technical and legal deficiencies” in JCIC's claim, according to a statement of the 14-member coalition.
The group is made up of American Builders and Contractors Supply, Associated Materials, Comfort View Products, Croft, Deceuninck North America, LB Plastics, Magnolia Windows and Doors, MGM Industries, Moss Supply, Sun Windows, West Window, Vinylmax, Veka Inc. and Wincore.
The coalition argued that the “J-rail” channel design has been used in window frame construction since at least the early 1960s and members pointed to past court cases invalidating a prior patent on which the lawsuit is based.
“Deciding on a monetary settlement instead of committing the time, resources and legal expenses to bring our challenge to the United States Patent Office and the courts was a difficult call," Filip Geeraert, President & CEO of Deceuninck North America, said in a statement on behalf of the coalition. "While the evidence is overwhelming, it simply costs too much and takes too much time and effort to go through the court process of having a patent overturned.”
JCIC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mellville, N.Y.-based Itus Corp., which acquires patented technology to assert and monetize patents, says it reached settlement/license agreements with 15 companies and includes Chelsea Building Products Inc. on its list.
“Of the 27 patent infringement lawsuits originally filed in connection with our patented J-Channel technology, 24 lawsuits have now been resolved,” Itus President and CEO Robert Berman said in a statement about the technology that allows for easier and faster installation of windows.
Berman also said the number of settlements and licenses exceeds the original number of lawsuits filed in fall 2013 because some companies not named as defendants requested licenses. Itus estimates that sales of J-Channel windows exceed 10 million annually.