Polymer Group, Inc., through certain of its subsidiaries, has filed a suit against The Kroger Co. (Kroger), Inter-American Products, Inc. (Inter-American) and U.S. Nonwovens Corp. for patent infringement related to private-label imaged wipes sold through Kroger’s retail food stores. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, alleges that Kroger is willfully infringing PGI’s U.S. Patent No. RE 38,505, which relates to hydroentangled nonwoven fabrics having raised patterns. The allegedly infringing product is Kroger's Everyday Living Refill Dusting Cloths. PGI is being represented in the case by Robins, Kaplan Miller & Ciresi LLP, a nationally recognized intellectual property litigation firm.
PGI has invested significant resources to develop successful programs based on its proprietary Apex technology and ability to produce truly three-dimensional materials that have superior performance characteristics than other products due specifically to the images created. PGI’s patents in this area relate not only to new value-added wipes applications but also to a broad variety of other highly engineered consumer and industrial end-use markets.
The alleged infringements are a result of what the company believes to be efforts by competitors to participate in a differentiated sector of the market to the detriment of PGI and its patent portfolio. In addition to the lawsuit filed today, PGI has notified several other industry participants, including equipment manufacturers, nonwovens suppliers and marketers of end-use products, of potential infringements.