Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE:EMN) said today that the United States District Court in Wilmington, Del., has ruled in favor of Eastman in a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Wellman, Inc. The court’s decision that held two Wellman patents invalid ended the case which was scheduled to go to trial February 17, 2010.
In September 2007, Wellman filed a lawsuit against Eastman in U.S. District Court claiming that Eastman’s manufacture of certain ParaStar™ PET resins infringed two Wellman patents. The ruling confirms that Eastman continues to be free to practice its independent and innovative technology used to make its ParaStar™ products.
“We are certainly pleased by the court’s ruling,” said Ron Lindsay, executive vice president responsible for Eastman’s Performance Polymers business segment. “We have consistently said that we consider the claim filed by Wellman to be without merit, a position which has been affirmed by today’s order. Moreover, we have always believed in the value and defensibility of our IntegRex™ PET technology.”
Theresa Lee, Eastman’s Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, agreed. “Not only will we continue to defend the company against meritless infringement charges from others, but we will also continue to vigorously defend our innovative proprietary technology.”
In 2006, Eastman introduced ParaStar™ as the next generation of PET resins. Used in a variety of beverage packaging applications, these innovative resins offer enhanced bottle clarity, product purity, production and supply chain efficiencies, as well as significant environmental benefits.