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China IP Authorities Rule in Favor of Lycra’s Denim Patent

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The Lycra Company, a developer of innovative fiber and technology solutions for the apparel and personal care industries, announced wins related to its ongoing global efforts to protect its intellectual property (IP), including patents and trademarks, from infringement worldwide.

The company recently initiated several infringement suits related to its dual core and multi-core patents for denim against third parties in China. These third parties were selling fibers and goods the Lycra Company deemed to infringe on its Lycra brand patents.

The Chinese National Intellectual Property Administration then issued a decision in support of Lycra Company patents for two invalidity challenges. Subsequently, the Jiangsu Authority informed the company that its patent has been upheld in both these cases.

“We are pleased with the outcome of these two cases with our patents being recognized and upheld by the Chinese authorities,” Bridget Sciamanna, general counsel for the Lycra Company, said. “Protecting our patents and trademarks is a key strategic priority for us in safeguarding the value of our global brands.”

The Lycra Company has also supported its customers and licensees in patent challenges related to its products. In two recent cases, two licensees in Europe turned to the company for technical and legal assistance for their own patent litigation defenses related to the company’s dual core patents. This assistance helped bring about wins for the licensees against the challenger, the company said. The presiding court ruled the licensees were not infringing on the other company’s patent.

As part of its ongoing effort to combat misuse and trademark infringement of its brands globally, the Lycra Co. actively searches online marketplaces to find listings for fabrics and garments that attempt to capitalize on its brands’ positive reputations to drive sales, despite its products not being used. Only fabrics and garments that have been tested and certified by the Lycra Co. to confirm they contain its fibers and meet its brands’ performance standards are eligible to use its trademarks. Over the past 12 months, the company has successfully removed 2,400 website listings and more than 800 social media profiles and posts that infringed on its trademarks.

One of the marketplace websites, a major e-commerce platform in China, immediately acted to correct or take down any listings by third party sellers with trademark infringement issues flagged by the Lycra Co.

“When our brand names are used on inferior products, it not only damages the consumer’s perception of our brands, it can also diminish the value of a customer’s investment in our products,” Lycra Co. CEO Julien Born said. “We have significantly invested in innovation, branding and marketing for decades, so we will always fight to protect and defend our intellectual property to the fullest extent of the law.”

In the past year, the company has been granted 52 patents globally for innovations across a range of technologies, including new polymers, fabric constructions, stretch and performance technologies, as well as processes for apparel and hygiene applications.

Headquartered in Wilmington, Del., the Lycra Co. owns consumer and trade brands Lycra, Lycra HyFit, Lycra T400, Coolmax, Thermolite, Elaspan, Supplex and Tactel.

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