OWW, Fillauer Settle Patent Lawsuit


Ohio Willow Wood Company Inc., Mt. Sterling, Ohio, announced January 3 the "amicable and equitable resolution" of a patent infringement complaint Ohio Willow Wood filed in a US court on February 10, 2006, involving Fillauer Companies Inc., based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Ohio Willow Wood filed the complaint to protect its ownership of intellectual property related to prosthetic liner, sleeve, suspension, and lock products, according to the company.

Ohio Willow Wood President Robert E. Arbogast and Fillauer Companies President and CEO Kenneth Driver said that they are pleased the companies were able to arrive at a resolution that substantiates the strength of Ohio Willow Wood's intellectual property through a patent licensing agreement crafted by both parties, according to an Ohio Willow Wood spokeswoman. This agreement will allow Fillauer to continue the sale of its Absolute Liners and Absolute Sleeves, she noted.

"Our company invests millions of dollars annually in the development of new and improved prosthetic devices and related manufacturing processes," said Arbogast. "A failure to protect the intellectual property that results from these efforts would have a stifling effect on our ability to invest in future research and development. We are pleased that Fillauer recognizes the ownership, the strength, and the value of Ohio Willow Wood's intellectual property. We look forward to future arrangements with Fillauer that have the potential of enhancing each company's position within the fields of orthotics and prosthetics."

Ohio Willow Wood also has pending litigation against both Alps South Corporation, St. Petersburg, Florida, and DAW Industries Inc. San Diego, California, that alleges infringement of Ohio Willow Wood's intellectual property regarding liners. These cases are expected to be heard by the US Federal Court in 2007. "Ohio Willow Wood will continue to pursue intellectual property protection afforded by international patent law in order to justify its continued work on behalf of amputees," the company said.