3M Files Reflective Material Patent Infringement Lawsuit in Germany
St. Paul, Minn.-based 3M Co. announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary 3M Deutschland GmbH has filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the District Court of Düsseldorf, Germany, against Sue Heung REF Co., GIOLITE-LUMIAN Co., GIO-LITE Europe GmbH and its managing director (collectively, GIO-LITE). The suit alleges that GIO-LITE's retroreflective fire coat trim product FR-119, which GIO-LITE advertises in Germany for use on garments for firefighters, infringes 3M's German patent corresponding to EP 0 759 179.
3M notes that it has provided fire services with enhanced visibility products for more than 25 years. Its Scotchlite brand of reflective material, used on fire coats and other garments, is designed to enhance workers' visibility in daylight, as well as low light and nighttime conditions. With $24 billion in sales, 3M employs 75,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 60 countries. 3M Deutschland GmbH employs 3,000 people in Germany and had sales of 1.3 billion euros in 2006.
On Tuesday, 3M announced it had completed its acquisition of Aearo, the Indianapolis maker of PPE for hearing, vision, and other types of proection; and that its wholly owned subsidiary 3M Canada had acquired Les Entreprises Solumed Inc., a Quebec supplier of medical products designed to prevent infections in operating rooms and hospitals.