Judge says Pall patents infringed upon, CUNO to appeal

OCT. 8–MERIDEN, CT.–CUNO Inc., a manufacturer of liquid and gas filtration components, announced today that it plans to appeal a recent ruling by the U.S. District Court granting Pall Corp. (a partial summary judgment in the patent infringement action relating to Pall ULTIPLEAT filter configuration and products.

In addition, CUNO believes the Pall patents are invalid and unenforceable by the East Hills, NY-based Pall; an issue the trial court still needs to address.

According to CUNO, its products, the subject of this patent infringement litigation, were earlier generations of CUNO’s PolyPro XL filters and CUNO’s LifeAssure filters. The combined sales of these products were less than one percent of the company’s total sales in fiscal 2001.

Alternative pleat configurations for these products have been adopted replacing the products, which was also a subject of the litigation. These products are currently available and are unencumbered by the Pall patents. The company believes that future sales of PolyPro XL and LifeAssure products will remain unaffected.

Pall, a developer of filtration, separation and purification systems, initially brought suit against CUNO on December 30, 1997. An evidentiary hearing was held in September 2000, where Judge Johanna Seybert heard evidence on the meaning of certain terms in the claims in the patents. On September 20, 2001, she rejected CUNO’s proposed claim interpretation and ruled that the disputed claim terms should be given their ordinary and accustomed meaning.

On October 29, 2001, Pall filed a motion for summary judgment of infringement of 57 claims in the two patents in suit. On September 30, 2002 the Court rendered its decision that the CUNO filters infringe all of the asserted claims of the Pall patents

“We are very pleased with the Court’s latest ruling,” says Gilbert Weiner, senior vice president and Pall’s general counsel, adding that Pall “will vigorously defend” its proprietary materials and technologies.

According to Pall, the ULTIPLEAT family of products is used in a broad spectrum of industries and applications and has a design that allows more filter material to be packed into a smaller envelope. Pall received the prestigious Vaaler Award in 1995 and again in 1999 for two of its filters based on the ULTIPLEAT design. The Vaaler Award recognizes leading innovations in the chemical processing industry.


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