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Avery Dennison Sues Alien for RFID Patent Infringement

Avery Dennison sued Alien Technology for infringement of three patents related to RFID tag production and testing. Avery previously sued chip production equipment maker Toray International for infringing one of the same patents, in a suit that is still pending.
Apr 03, 2008This article was originally published by RFID Update.

April 3, 2008—Last week Avery Dennison filed a lawsuit alleging Alien Technology is infringing three of its patents related to RFID inlay, transponder, and label production. Avery Dennison is seeking to immediately and permanently bar Alien from using the disputed production processes, and is asking for unspecified damages. The suit was filed March 27, 2008, in the United States District Court Northern District of Ohio in Cleveland, where Avery Dennison has extensive operations. Both companies are headquartered in California.

RFID Update contacted both parties in the case. Alien said it was still reviewing the suit and would have no comment. Avery Dennison said it had no comment beyond what is in the court filing. RFID Update purchased a copy of the lawsuit (case number 1:08-cv-00795-KMO), which is not available free online but can be viewed or downloaded for a fee of eight cents per page.

The suit alleges Alien infringes US Patents 6,951,596 (referred to in the suit as "the '596 patent") and 7,292,148 ("the '148 patent"), which relate to methods for producing RFID transponders, inlays, and labels. The suit also alleges infringement of US Patent 7,307,527 ("the '527 patent"), which covers RFID testing methods.

Avery Dennison's pursuit of Alien for the '596 patent infringement may have wider implications in the industry. Last April Avery Dennison sued Toray International, a Japanese manufacturer of chip production equipment, for infringing the same patent. The suit is still in litigation, according to Avery Dennison. The suit filed last week claims Alien uses equipment purchased from Toray to produce RFID tags and thus infringes the '596 patent. If other RFID chipmakers also use Toray equipment, they may also be targets for a lawsuit by Avery Dennison. In its suit against Toray, Avery Dennison asks for treble damages and that punitive damages be assessed, though no such requests are made in the Alien suit, which asks for damages, attorney fees, and the permanent injunction.
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