Kilpatrick Stockton LLP today announced termination of patent litigation between its client Interface, Inc. and Milliken & Company (Milliken v. Interface) and entry of judgment on a jury verdict invalidating two Milliken patents.
Milliken sued Interface, the world’s largest maker of commercial carpet tiles, in October 2002 in the U.S. District Court in Greenville, South Carolina and simultaneously filed similar cases against Shaw and Mohawk. Milliken, a textile and chemical manufacturing company based in South Carolina, had accused all three companies of infringement of Milliken patents for cushion back carpet tile and sought damages from each defendant.
The Interface and Mohawk cases were tried for three weeks in May to a jury in Greenville, South Carolina, with Shaw settling just days beforehand. The issues that went to the jury were validity of two Milliken patents, alleged infringement of the patents by Interface, and possible damages. Interface challenged the patents as invalid, obvious, derived from third parties and not infringed. After stunningly short deliberation of less than one hour, the jury awarded Interface a complete victory finding both patents invalid and neither infringed by Interface, which eliminated all damages questions.
Defenses that the Milliken patents were procured through inequitable conduct before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office were severed for separate consideration by the judge without the jury, and a hearing on those claims occurred July 26, 2004. Two hours into that hearing counsel for Interface announced to the court that Interface and Milliken had reached a mutually agreeable settlement of the entire litigation, including counterclaims against Milliken for infringement of Interface patents that had been scheduled for trial in September 2004. Only the Mohawk case remained before the court, and at the conclusion of the inequitable conduct phase of the Mohawk litigation, judgment was entered September 15, 2004 on the May 24, 2004 jury verdict of invalidity of the Milliken patents.
Interface’s trial team was lead by Kilpatrick Stockton Partner Bill Boice, who tried the case with several other Kilpatrick Stockton attorneys, including Steve Moore, Mitch Stockwell, Kris Doyle and John Pratt. At conclusion of the case, Interface in-house litigation counsel Kevin Gallagher said, “In twenty years of practice I have been involved with hundreds of lawsuits, and top-to-bottom, left-to-right, this was the best trial team I have ever seen.”
Milliken was represented by a large team of attorneys from New York, New York, Atlanta, Georgia and Greenville, South Carolina.
About Kilpatrick Stockton
Kilpatrick Stockton LLP is a full-service international law firm with more than 470 attorneys in nine offices across the globe: Atlanta and Augusta, GA.; New York, New York; Charlotte, Raleigh and Winston-Salem, N.C.; Washington, D.C.; London, England; and Stockholm, Sweden. Kilpatrick Stockton’s delivery of innovative business solutions provides results-oriented counsel for corporations, from the challenging demands of financial transactions and securities to the disciplines of intellectual property management. Collaboration among Kilpatrick Stockton’s corporate, litigation and intellectual property attorneys provides knowledgeable and proactive guidance for companies at every stage of the business life cycle.
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