Seven major window manufacturers and two distributors had patent infringement lawsuits filed against them in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee Northern Division yesterday. J-Channel Industries Corp., a subsidiary of CopyTele which develops and acquires patented technology, filed suit against Atrium Windows and Doors Inc., Elixir Industries Inc., Jeld-Wen Inc., Kinro Manufacturing Inc., Pella Corp., Ply Gem Industries Inc.  and Tafco Corp. Lowe’s Cos. Inc., Clayton Homes Inc. and RGF Industries Inc. were also named in the suits.

J-Channel alleges “defendants have directly infringed on one or more claims of the ‘041 reissue patent” for window frame manufactured housing according to the filed complaints and patent action notice.

“Our inventor is a former window manufacturer who was forced out of the business by a consortium of larger, more powerful competitors, who misappropriated his J-Channel technology,” says Robert Berman, president and CEO of CopyTele. “After licensing the technology to a few manufacturers, the original J-Channel patent was invalidated in patent litigation more than 10 years ago due to discrepancies in the claim language. Following that litigation, the inventor fortified the claim language to eliminate the discrepancies, and the patent office re-issued the patent. As a result, we now have a much stronger patent, an established royalty rate based upon the previous licenses, and widespread infringement for J-Channel technology which has become an industry standard.”

J-Channel has requested a trial by jury.

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