Baker & McKenzie Secures Major Win for Beaulieu International Group and Armstrong World Industries in Patent Dispute with Pergo, Inc.

Jury rejects Pergo’s claim for $85 million in alleged patent infringement damages, finding all asserted claims not infringed and invalid

Chicago, IL, December 18, 2007 – LAWFUEL – Baker & McKenzie represented the accused infringers (Alloc, Inc., Berry Wood S.A., members of Beaulieu International Group, and Armstrong World Industries, Inc.) in a patent infringement case brought by Pergo, Inc. concerning patents covering locking systems for mechanically locking laminate flooring panels commonly sold in large home improvement stores. These products are increasingly popular and the total U.S. market for laminate flooring is approximately $1.5 billion annually.

Beaulieu International Group is a Belgian manufacturer of flooring products sold throughout the world, and includes Alloc Inc., located in Racine, Wis. Armstrong is Beaulieu’s customer and licensee. The patents at the center of the dispute were issued in the summer of 2002. Within a few weeks of the patents issuing, Pergo filed a suit for infringement against Armstrong. Pergo sought compensatory damages of about $84.2 million and an injunction, which would have resulted in the shut down of the Alloc plant in Racine, and the cessation of U.S. sales of the accused products by Beaulieu and Armstrong. After two full days of deliberation, following a two week trial, the jury found all asserted claims not infringed and, further, invalidated all of Pergo’s asserted claims.

The case was tried to a jury in the Eastern District of Wisconsin before District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller (Case Docket number 02-C-0736).

The Baker & McKenzie trial team included Daniel O’Connor, David Roche, James Pak, Ed Runyan and Dan Tallitsch. Scott Sudderth of Womble Carlyle acted as co-counsel for Armstrong World Industries, Inc. Pergo, Inc. was represented by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

In addition to being a big victory for Beaulieu and Armstrong, and preserving their market position, this case dealt a blow to Pergo’s international licensing program which includes the patents that were found to be invalid. It is expected that final judgment will be entered in approximately 60 days.

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