3M and Avery Dennison Settle Patent Infringement Lawsuits
According to separate releases from each company, a series of lawsuits began when 3M alleged that some of Avery Dennison's products, including the company's OmniCube, infringed on 3M's patents and asked for an injunction to prevent those products from being sold. Avery Dennison responded with two separate lawsuits, one accusing 3M of patent infringement and another alleging antitrust violations.
The court entered a consent judgment in favor of 3M on that company's initial lawsuit, while denying the injunction request, and dismissed the two cases brought by Avery Dennison. As a result, 3M will still be able to enforce its patents, while Avery Dennison will continue to sell its OmniCube products.
Each company treated Friday's announcement like a victory. "We are pleased that the court has entered judgment upholding the validity and enforceability of our patents related to DG3 sheeting, and that all allegations against 3M were dismissed," said John Houle, vice president and general manager of 3M Traffic Safety and Security Division, in a statement. Donald A. Nolan, president of Avery Dennison Materials Group, also issued a statement, saying, "We're pleased to have reached a mutually acceptable agreement, and we look forward to continuing to offer customers our innovative OmniCube product."
The two companies have shared a rocky relationship for several years. Despite the pending lawsuits, the companies jointly announced a plan in January 2012 that would have seen 3M acquire the office and consumer products (OCP) division of Avery Dennison. That September, the Department of Justice threatened to file an antitrust suit to prevent the acquisition, claiming the two companies already dominated the market and echoing Avery Dennison's earlier lawsuit. Avery Dennison would later announce a deal to sell its OCP division to CCL Industries in February 2013.