U.S. technology licensing firm Multilayer files suit against nine stretch film producers, including AEP Industries, Berry Plastics, Inteplast, and Sigma Stretch Film, for allegedly violating patent for stretch cling films of seven or more layers

LOS ANGELES , February 22, 2012 () – Patent-infringement lawsuits for stretch cling films of seven or more layers has been filed in the U.S. against nine plastic film producers, reported Plastics News on Feb. 22.

Multilayer Stretch Cling Film Holdings Inc., a Wilmington, Delaware-based company that licenses technology, filed six lawsuits in the case on Feb. 10 in U.S. District Court in Memphis, Tennessee.

The company claims that the stretch cling film patent it bought from global stretch film processor Manuli Stretch Film Group SpA of Milan, Italy, is being violated by the nine companies named in the lawsuits, Plastics News reported.

The defendants in the lawsuits are Alpha Industries Inc., Berry Plastics Corp., Inteplast Group Ltd., AmTopp Corp., Malpack Ltd., Alliance Plastics LLC, Intertape Polymer Group Inc., AEP Industries Inc. and Sigma Stretch Film.

Court dates have not been set in the case, reported Plastics News.

The patent involved is for stretch films of seven or more layers, which it is claimed are stronger, more versatile, and more eco-friendly than other films, in addition to being lower-cost to produce.

Multilayer is seeking unspecified past damages and forward licensing fees from the nine companies, said Melissa Hunter Smith, an attorney representing Multilayer, Plastics News reported.

Should the defendants refuse to license the technology, Multilayer will seek permanent injunctions to prevent them from making films based on the patent, said Hunter Smith.

While Hunter Smith was uncertain how much of the patented stretch film the companies had made, it is believed to be “a lot,” she said, reported Plastics News.

The patent was acquired by Manuli in its purchase of Quintec Films Group in 2007. Recently, Manuli discontinued making film at its North American plant in Shelbyville, Tennessee, and is importing them instead.

Multilayer won a similar patent-infringement lawsuit in 2010, when Pinnacle Films Inc. was ordered to pay a settlement of more than US$2 million.

The primary source of this article is Plastics News, Akron, Ohio, on Feb. 22, 2012.

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