Midwest Composite Technologies Wins Summary Judgement

From: Helmut Keidl (midco@execpc.com)
Date: Thu Jul 24 1997 - 19:37:44 EEST

N E W S R E L E A S E Contact: Peter N. Jansson
                                      JANSSON & SHUPE, LTD.
                                      Racine, WI
                                      (414) 632-6900

Midwest’s Claims of Antitrust Violations
by DTM and BFGoodrich Remain for Trial

   Milwaukee, WI (July 24, 1997) – A Wisconsin federal court
has granted summary judgment, ending patent infringement
charges brought by DTM Corporation (NASDAQ: DTMC) of
Austin, Texas, against its customer Midwest Composite
Technologies, Inc. of Hartland, Wisconsin.
   The decision, issued by Chief Judge J. P. Stadtmueller on
July 11 and made public today by Midwest, the Court held,
"Midwest has an implied license . . . to practice [DTM’s
Patent No. 5,342,919], so there can be no infringement by
Midwest in this case."
   The DTM patent relates to nylon powder for selective
laser sintering (SLS). SLS is a process for rapid creation
of prototypes from powder, including nylon powder. Midwest,
among other things, makes prototypes using a "Sinter-
station," an SLS machine purchased from DTM for about
a quarter million dollars in 1994. In addition to selling
its Sinterstation systems, DTM sells powders for SLS.
   The dispute relates to nylon powder useful in the DTM
Sinterstation. Midwest used commercially available nylon
powder obtained from a source other than DTM at prices much
lower than DTM’s prices. DTM’s patent lawsuit was filed in
1995, claiming that Midwest’s use of the commercially
available (non-DTM) nylon powder was patent infringement.
   Midwest’s lawyer Peter Jansson said, "The Court’s
decision for Midwest may have broad implications for
companies that own Sinterstations and have been buying nylon
powder from DTM at extremely high prices."
   Midwest has denied patent infringement and charged DTM
and BFGoodrich, then DTM’s parent, with fraud and coercion
in the marketing of nylon powder for SLS. Midwest alleged:

   -that DTM and BFGoodrich "willfully withheld" information
   from the Patent Office to secure a patent and then
   wrongfully used the patent to monopolize the niche market
   for nylon powder used in SLS;

   -that Midwest was refused parts and service for its
   Sinterstation unless it purchased its nylon from DTM, at
   "exorbitant prices;" and

   -that agreements were made in restraint of trade to deny
   Midwest normal access to commercially available nylon

   Earlier this year, motions by DTM and BFGoodrich to
dismiss the antitrust case were denied by the Court. The
antitrust claims remain for trial, as does a DTM contract
        Midwest Composite Technologies, Inc. produces rapid
tooling and prototyping primarily of reaction injection
molded housings for medical equipment from its plant based
in Hartland, Wisconsin. DTM, a majority-owned subsidiary of
The BFGoodrich Company, made an initial public offering of
DTMC stock in May, 1997.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jun 05 2001 - 22:39:56 EEST