1. SCA Wins Victory in Patent Infringement Case
In March, SCA won a victory before the U.S. Supreme Court in its seven-year patent infringement case against First Quality Products, Inc. In a 7-1 decision written by Justice Alito, the Supreme Court concluded that the six-year statutory period of limitations during which a patent infringement claim must be commenced cannot be shortened based on the equitable doctrine known as laches. The decision provides certainty as to the damages period for patent infringement and allows SCA to proceed with its claim for pre-suit damages against First Quality. In 2010, SCA sued First Quality for infringement of its U.S. Patent Number 6,375,646, covering adult incontinence products in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky in Bowling Green, KY. On First Quality’s petition, the lower court dismissed SCA’s claim for pre-suit damages, a decision that was reversed by the Supreme Court. The case will return to Kentucky for trial on both pre- and post-suit damages.
2. Hartmann to Buy P&G’s Lindor Brands
Last year The Hartmann Group acquired Procter & Gamble’s Lindor brand of adult incontinence products sold in professional channels in Spain and Portugal. As part of the agreement, Hartmann obtained all P&G assets associated with the Lindor product portfolio (Lindor, Salvacamas, Lindor Care, Lindor Pants), intellectual property, contracts with employees and a 25,000-square meter manufacturing facility in Montornés, Spain. The transaction closed on July 1.
3. Biodegradable Diaper Company Announces U.S. Distribution
Poof Diapers launched a line of eco-friendly, biodegradable and compostable baby diapers last year, which are available nationwide in the U.S. The proprietary diaper material is constructed with non-GMO corn, certified to worldwide biodegradable standards. Further, the company has partnered with recommended commercial composting facilities and can now provide a full circle option in many communities. In these facilities, in 14 short weeks, nonagricultural soil is created and used for commercial landscaping purposes.
4. Ontex Opens First Ethiopian Production Facility
In July, Ontex Group opened a new production plant in Ethiopia. Under its Canbebe brand, Ontex can now produce baby diapers that are specifically meeting the needs of African families in the local market. Ontex says the opening fits in its ongoing transformation into a leading consumer goods company and its ambition to expand the personal hygiene business around the world.
5. Nobel Hygiene to Expand in North India
Earlier last year, Indian hygiene manufacturer Nobel Hygiene made plans to expand its capacity by setting up a new manufacturing facility in North India. After seeing growth in adult and baby diapers, managing director Kamal Kumar Johari said that they would invest ₹25 crore ($3.8 million) in the new manufacturing facility. Nobel Hygiene currently operates a factory in Nashik in Maharashtra where it has six manufacturing lines with fully-automated machines that produce adult and baby diapers, underpads and baby diaper pants.
6. Mogul U.S. Investment Complete
Turkish nonwovens producer Mogul officially unveiled its U.S. investment in late March in a special ceremony. Mogul South Carolina Nonwovens, located in Grey Court, operates a 3.2 meter, high-speed parallel laid spunlace line with 15,000 tons of annual capacity. The investment, Mogul's first outside of Turkey, will help meet demand for its nonwovens technologies in the wipes, hygiene, filtration and automotive markets.
7. Unicharm Diana to Recycle Diaper Waste
Diana Unicharm, part of the Unicharm Group, announced it was installing new recycling operations from Diaper Recycling Technology to process factory waste and reduce the amount of its waste stream that ends up in landfills. The newly developed technology is an environmental breakthrough for the hygiene industry, eliminating the need for traditional landfill and incineration disposal methods.
8. Abena Offers World’s First Smart Diaper
Danish manufacturing company Abena introduced an adult diaper that alerts care staff when it needs to be changed. Made in cooperation with Silicon Valley-based MediSens Wireless, the new intelligent diaper, Abena Nova, supports caregivers in nursing homes and special needs facilities to provide better and more personalized care to people with urinary incontinence. The real-time actionable insights from the solution enables caregivers to better plan and provide personalized care based on the individual’s needs.
9. Rockline Launches New Business
Wipes manufacturer Rockline Industries formed a new subsidiary, Iatric Manufacturing Subsidiaries, which will design and manufacture FDA-regulated wipes for use in the consumer, healthcare, food service and hospital industries. Iatric will operate out of a new 435,000-square-foot, FDA-registered facility in Morristown, TN. The new plant is expected to be operational this year.
10. Clorox Healthcare Wipes Proven to Kill C. difficile Spores
Last year, Clorox Healthcare voluntarily tested two of its leading ready-to-use bleach disinfectants using updated U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended standards to ensure its disinfectants continue to meet the highest standards of efficacy. As a result, Clorox Healthcare Bleach Germicidal Wipes and Clorox Healthcare Bleach Germicidal Cleaners were EPA-registered to kill C. difficile spores in three minutes, tested in the presence of a three-part organic soil load, and have gained new disinfection claims for emerging viral pathogens including SARS-associated Coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-associated Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and other common causes of HAIs.