SOURCE: Tillotson Corporation

June 11, 2009 15:28 ET

Tillotson Files Federal Circuit Appeal of ITC Determination

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - June 11, 2009) - Tillotson Corporation has filed its Appeal Brief with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, appealing a Determination by the International Trade Commission (ITC) on December 22, 2008 related to patented comfortable disposable Nitrile gloves.

The Appeal Brief states the errors of law that resulted in the ITC's December Determination of No Violation of Section 337, despite also determining that all 52 foreign manufacturers and US importers of these gloves had infringed at least one claim of Tillotson's Reissue Patent No. Re. 35,616 (the Patent). If the Appellate Court agrees, Tillotson hopes a general exclusion order could be quickly imposed by the ITC, which would not only bar subsequent importation, but also include a restraining order to prohibit distribution of infringing gloves already imported.

"Regardless of the outcome of Tillotson's appeal, the Patent and Tillotson's license agreements remain unaffected by this administrative decision of the ITC regarding illegal importation," said Rick Tillotson, Vice President of Tillotson Corporation. "We appealed the ITC's decision to support our licensees regarding illegal importation. Tillotson did not need to appeal that decision to preserve its agreements or its intellectual property rights."

The US District Courts alone have exclusive jurisdiction to make determinations of patent infringement, invalidity and enforcement. The ITC has no jurisdiction or power to invalidate a patent or declare a patent unenforceable, and is only authorized to address patent issues to the extent of making administrative determinations under 19 U.S.C. § 1337. The Patent and Tillotson's agreements relative to the Patent remain valid and fully enforceable, regardless of the ITC Determination or any appeal thereof.

During the appeal period, most, if not all, existing District Court proceedings against the Respondents and other infringers of the Patent may remain stayed. When such stays are eventually lifted, infringing defendants will then have to face the still-existing risk of damages for their infringements occurring during a period from six years prior to filing of the District Court action, up until the date of a Court decision finding infringement. Tillotson fully expects its licensees, and others, to abide by the terms of their agreements, including the payment of royalties due in a timely manner. Tillotson intends to defend the competitive interests of its licensees, with an appropriate legal response to any failure to abide by such terms.

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