MACON, Ga., Nov. 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Fish & Richardson won a major jury verdict for Velcro Companies in the Middle District of Georgia on November 17, 2017 that capped four years of patent litigation against YKK Corp., the company's primary rival in the transportation and automotive segment of the hook and loop fastener business. The jury delivered a complete defense verdict of non-infringement, finding that Velcro Companies' VELCRO® Brand fasteners do not infringe YKK's patent.
The decision is the first patent jury verdict in M.D. Ga since 2001 and the first patent jury verdict in Georgia since 2008.
The case dates back to August 2013 when YKK sued Velcro Companies – the original inventor of hook and loop fasteners – for patent infringement with the goal of obtaining an injunction and removing VELCRO® Brand fasteners 4Gi and MH4 hook from the transportation market. Many cars in the U.S. with fabric or leather covers use hook fastener strips embedded in seat cushions to secure seat trim covers, so a large market was at risk.
"We are thrilled to deliver this much deserved win to our client. Velcro Companies is built on innovation and they understand and respect intellectual property rights. We were confident that Velcro Companies did not infringe YKK's patent and the jury agreed," said Fish principal Christopher Green, who led the litigation.
"Our company invented hook and loop fastener technology and we continue to develop versatile and commercially viable fastening solutions. We have worked tirelessly to protect our intellectual property, including preserving our strong recognizable VELCRO® Brand for hook and loop fasteners. We strongly believe in ethical conduct and respect the value of intellectual property, and we will continue to rigorously defend the IP and trademarks for our VELCRO® Brand products around the globe," said Fraser Cameron, President and CEO at Velcro Companies.
In addition to Green, the Fish trial team included principals Thad Kodish and Frank Scherkenbach, and associates Jacqueline Tio, Sara Fish, and Bailey Benedict. The case is YKK Corporation et al v. Velcro USA Inc. (Middle District of Georgia).
About Velcro Companies Velcro Companies is a technology-driven, global organization providing fastening solutions that solve problems in simple, elegant and surprising ways for businesses and consumers around the world. We have a heritage of innovation spanning more than 50 years and own over 400 active patents and numerous trademarks, including the VELCRO® trademark, which is registered throughout the world. We develop and deliver solutions for customers through an integrated production and service system that includes manufacturing locations in the United States, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, Uruguay, Spain and China and sales offices around the world. To buy genuine VELCRO® brand products and to find out more about our company, visit www.velcro.com and www.dontsayvelcro.com.
Note to editors: At Velcro Companies, we are proud that VELCRO® brand products have become a part of everyday life, but that ubiquity sometimes produces confusion. The VELCRO® trademark should be used only when referring to genuine VELCRO® brand fasteners. Non-VELCRO® brand products should be identified by their functional terms, such as "hook and loop," "self-adhesive straps," and so forth. The VELCRO® mark should always be used as an adjective and never as a noun or a verb. The term "Velcro Companies" should be used when referring to our company and its executives.
The proper use of the VELCRO® trademark assists us in safeguarding the integrity of the VELCRO® brand, and helps to protect consumers from products incorrectly sold as VELCRO® brand products. For further information on the proper use of the VELCRO® trademark, please see the guidelines on our website.
About Fish & Richardson Fish & Richardson is a global patent prosecution, intellectual property litigation, and commercial litigation law firm with more than 400 attorneys and technology specialists in the U.S. and Europe. Our success is rooted in our creative and inclusive culture, which values the diversity of people, experiences, and perspectives. Fish is the No. 1 U.S. patent litigation firm, handling nearly three times as many cases as its nearest competitor; a powerhouse patent prosecution firm; a top-tier trademark and copyright firm; and the No. 1 firm at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, with more cases than any other firm. Since 1878, Fish attorneys have been winning cases worth billions in controversy – often by making new law – for the world's most innovative and influential technology leaders. For more information, visit https://www.fr.com or follow us at @FishRichardson.