Schweitzer-Mauduit Announces Patent Infringement Action
ALPHARETTA, Ga., Feb. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Schweitzer-Mauduit International, Inc. (NYSE: SWM) today announced its filing of a patent infringement action on February 8, 2010, in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, Charleston Division. The suit was filed against the following parties as defendants:
Delfort Group, an Austrian corporation Astra Tobacco Corporation, a North Carolina corporation Julius Glatz, GmbH, a German corporation LIPtec, GmbH, a German corporation
The suit alleges that the defendants infringe United States Patent Number 6,725,867 based on the sale of cigarette papers in the U.S. that are designed for use in the manufacture of lower ignition propensity cigarettes. Schweitzer-Mauduit is represented by the firms of Jones Day and Buist, Moore Smythe & McGee P.A.
The company considers litigation to be a serious matter and does not undertake it lightly or in haste. However, we felt that it was appropriate to take this action now in light of our assessment of activities in the market. Schweitzer-Mauduit has been engaged in the study of the mechanisms at work and the means for designing cigarette papers that aid in controlling the ignition of a cigarette for over 20 years. To our knowledge, this substantially predates work by any of our competitors in this area and is the foundation on which Schweitzer-Mauduit has built a portfolio of patents around the world that covers a range of products and processes, in particular banding approaches, relating to this technology. In our view, our early work has allowed us to establish a strong intellectual property position on many of the fundamental techniques currently employed commercially to produce lower ignition propensity papers and our work continues to further develop this technology.
It is not possible to predict the outcome of litigation or its duration, but we would not have initiated this action absent a firm belief that our position was well supported and, we are committed to see it through to a final conclusion. Historically, the average time for a patent infringement action to be resolved in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, Charleston Division is around two to four years.
About Schweitzer-Mauduit International
Schweitzer-Mauduit International, Inc. is a diversified producer of premium specialty papers. It also manufactures specialty papers for other applications. Schweitzer-Mauduit and its subsidiaries conduct business in over 90 countries and employ 2,900 people worldwide, with operations in the United States, France, Brazil, the Philippines, Indonesia, Canada and a joint venture in China. For further information, please visit the company’s Web site at www.schweitzer-mauduit.com.
CONTACT: Vera Arthur +1-770-569-4293 or Pete Thompson +1-770-569-4277 both of Schweitzer-Mauduit International, Inc. Web Site: http://www.schweitzer-mauduit.com
SOURCE Schweitzer-Mauduit International, Inc.