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Jury Hands 3M Win in Patent Case Against Avery

Avery reports that it will challenge the verdict.

Big Picture
Just prior to the New Year, 3M announced that it had won a favorable verdict in a patent-infringement lawsuit filed in the United States District Court in Minnesota against Avery Dennison Corporation. A jury in Minneapolis returned the verdict in favor of 3M, finding that 3M's United States Patent No. 5,897,930, which relates to release liners used in the manufacture and sale of pressure-sensitive adhesives for large-format graphics, is valid and has been infringed by Avery Dennison's sales of its EZ Series Fleet Marking Film. 3M filed the lawsuit 4 years ago.

Based on the favorable jury verdict, 3M indicated it would then ask the court to enter a permanent injunction prohibiting further manufacture and sales of Avery Dennison's EZ Series Fleet Marking Film products.

In early January, however, in a letter to its customers, Avery stated that it would file post-trial motions challenging the verdict and, if the trial court upheld the jury verdict, would then appeal the verdict to the Federal Court of Appeals. Avery stated that if it were prohibited from selling its Easy Apply graphics films pending appeal, it would manufacture and sell "non-infringing alternative products to meet the productivity improvement needs of its varied customer base." "

Regarding inventory of Avery EZ graphics films, stated Avery: "Your inventory decisions are clearly yours, but in Avery's view it's business as usual pending further court rulings. Should there be a need to transition to an alternative film construction, Avery will handle the transition as we do any other product change, i.e., you will have the option to return your existing inventory to make room for the updated Avery product."



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