Electronics For Imaging, Inc. and its superwide format printer unit VUTEk announced total victory in patent litigation with Leggett & Platt (L&P) involving EFI’s UV ink curing technology.
After a string of successful summary judgment motions, one of which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, EFI has reached a non-confidential settlement with L&P that does not require any payment from EFI to L&P. L&P dismissed all of its claims against EFI and promised not to sue EFI or any of its customers based on a claim that EFI products infringe any of the patents-in-suit or any related patent.
L&P first filed the lawsuit in May 2005 against VUTEk during EFI’s acquisition of the innovative superwide format printer business. From the outset, EFI maintained that VUTEk invented and patented the technologies first. The US District Court in St. Louis agreed with EFI, invalidating all of L&P’s asserted patent claims and ordering L&P to pay EFI’s costs to defend the lawsuit. The US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that conclusion in its entirety. In July 2009, the US District Court held that a second L&P patent is also invalid in light of EFI’s patents and printer design technology.
On April 21, 2009, L&P sued EFI again, alleging infringement of a third L&P patent. As with the two other patents, EFI moved for summary judgment to invalidate this third patent using the same prior art previously relied upon by the court. Faced with the very real possibility of losing a third patent, L&P approached EFI to settle the dispute.
“We are very pleased with this result. A settlement like this – with a patent plaintiff walking away with no payment whatsoever – is rare in modern patent litigation,” said EFI’s general counsel Bryan Ko. “This settlement establishes conclusively what we’ve maintained all along: that EFI invented and patented this technology first.”