Appliance Recycling Centers of America (ARCA) received a legally binding document from JACO Environmental, Inc. stating JACO will not sue ARCA or ARCA customers for violating JACO's recycling patent (U.S. Patent No. 6,732,416) – a patent that ARCA alleges was fraudulently obtained.
Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., one of the U.S.'s largest major household appliances recyclers, filed a suit in December 2004 alleging that JACO's patent covers appliance recycling methods and systems ARCA originally developed, beginning in 1987, and has since used in serving more than 40 electric utility appliance recycling programs.
A formal court document incorporating the terms of the JACO commitment is being negotiated, and should be finalized in the next month.
ARCA will continue seeking a permanent injunction barring JACO from using the patent to market JACO recycling services. ARCA will also ask the court for unspecified damages related to charges that JACO's use of the patent to promote its services amounted to unfair competition and false and misleading advertising under federal and California statutes.
"JACO's legally binding decision not to enforce its recycling patent against ARCA removes any potential threat to our business," said Edward R. (Jack) Cameron, ARCA president and CEO. "It is also a direct, positive outcome of the aggressive litigation stance that ARCA has taken with JACO."
Cameron added, "ARCA has been engaged in recycling appliances and disposing of hazardous components for nearly 20 years, and has developed and implemented many recycling methods and processes. Over the years we have made many presentations to industry symposia, published numerous articles in trade publications and provided information to the general news media about our recycling processes. Reflecting our belief that the JACO patent is based on methods and processes that ARCA developed, we will continue legal efforts to bar JACO from using its patent in the course of its business and to seek damages related to JACO's use of that fraudulently obtained patent to market its recycling services."
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