Pall Wins Key Patent Infringement Ruling in CUNO Case
Pall Corporation announced that the United States District Court has ruled in its favor in a patent infringement suit against CUNO Incorporated. The court found that CUNO's PolyPro® XL filters, and filters with the same pleat configuration, such as CUNO's LifeAssure™ filters, infringe Pall's U.S. patents 5,543,047 and 5,690,765.
The Pall patents relate to Pall's ULTIPLEAT® filter configuration and products. The ULTIPLEAT line of products is widely used in a broad spectrum of industries and applications. Its unique design enables more filter material to be packed into a smaller envelope. This results in much longer service life, less waste to dispose of, and significantly improved economics. Pall received the prestigious Vaaler Award, which recognizes leading innovations in the chemical processing industry, for this technology in 1995.
Gilbert Weiner, senior vice president and general counsel for Pall commented, "We are very pleased with the court's ruling. Pall's proprietary materials and technologies along with our ability to engineer them into useful forms are the cornerstone of our technical and market leadership. We will vigorously defend them."
The suit was filed in December 1997, when Pall accused CUNO of infringing two patents by CUNO's manufacture and sale of its PolyPro XL filters.
During the course of the litigation, each party filed motions for summary judgment. CUNO admitted that, except for one feature, its filters infringed all of the features of Pall's patent claims. The parties disputed the meaning of that single claim feature.
In a "Markman" hearing in September 2000, the court heard testimony from the inventors and technical experts relating to the meaning of the disputed claim.
On September 7, 2001, the court rendered a decision approving Pall's claim construction and finding that the Pall invention represented a "major breakthrough." On September 18, 2001, the Court entered a judgment that CUNO's filters and the method of making those spiral pleated filters infringe Pall's patents.
The court will address Pall's request for damages and injunctive relief, including that CUNO cease the sale of all infringing products, in the near future.