Significant patenting and patent portfolio management activities continue to be a critical, albeit less visible, cornerstone of Kilpatrick Townsend’s patent practice. One lengthy chapter of that story closed in June 2009.

This chapter began in 2001, when Kilpatrick Townsend attorneys drew on decades of experience with carpet manufacturing technologies to prepare a groundbreaking utility patent application for Interface. The invention involved carpet tiles that can be installed without regard to their rotational position while not looking out of place. This feature of carpet tile was so original that it had no name, so Kilpatrick Townsend attorneys coined a new term to describe it: orthogonal ambiguity. Successful prosecution of this unconventional utility patent (involving the functional use of a product’s appearance) required extensive advocacy in the Patent Office.

A significant win any way you look at it

Kilpatrick Townsend filed suit against five Interface competitors the day the patent issued in June 2005. Two of the five defendants quickly accepted licenses. Intense litigation against the other three highly litigious competitors continued until the eve of trial, which was scheduled for July 2009. After obtaining favorable claim constructions and defeating multiple summary judgment motions on the patent’s validity, enforceability, and Interface’s infringement claims, Interface successfully settled with the remaining defendants in May and June 2009.

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