Fish & Richardson Wins Jury Verdict for Velcro Companies Against YKK Corp. in Middle District of Georgia

Fish & Richardson won a major jury verdict for Velcro Companies in the Middle District of Georgia on November 17, 2017 that capped four years of patent litigation against YKK Corp., the company's primary rival in the transportation and automotive segment of the hook and loop fastener business. The jury delivered a complete defense verdict of non-infringement, finding that Velcro Companies' VELCRO® Brand fasteners do not infringe YKK's patent.

The decision is the first patent jury verdict in M.D. Ga since 2001.

The case dates back to August 2013 when YKK sued Velcro Companies - the original inventor of hook and loop fasteners - for patent infringement with the goal of obtaining an injunction and removing VELCRO® Brand fasteners 4Gi and MH4 hook from the transportation market. Many cars in the U.S. with fabric or leather covers use hook fastener strips embedded in seat cushions to secure seat trim covers, so a large market was at risk.

"We are thrilled to deliver this much-deserved win to our client. Velcro Companies is built on innovation and they understand and respect intellectual property rights. We were confident that Velcro Companies did not infringe YKK's patent and the jury agreed," said Fish principal Christopher Green, who led the litigation.

"Our company invented hook and loop fastener technology and we continue to develop versatile and commercially viable fastening solutions. We have worked tirelessly to protect our intellectual property, including preserving our strong recognizable VELCRO® Brand for hook and loop fasteners. We strongly believe in ethical conduct and respect the value of intellectual property, and we will continue to rigorously defend the IP and trademarks for our VELCRO® Brand products around the globe," said Fraser Cameron, President and CEO at Velcro Companies.

In addition to Green, the Fish trial team included principals Thad Kodish and Frank Scherkenbach, and associates Jacqueline Tio, Sara Fish, and Bailey Benedict. The case is YKK Corporation et al v. Velcro USA Inc. (Middle District of Georgia).

Read additional coverage on this decision in the Daily Report here.