Cleveland, Ohio, Aug. 18, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- (Cleveland, OH) RevoLaze, a laser technology firm headquartered in Westlake, OH, announced today that it has filed a complaint requesting a 337 Investigation with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) for patent infringement. The claim was submitted by Dentons, the law firm representing RevoLaze.
The 17 denim jean companies named include Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, BlankNYC, The Buckle Inc., Buffalo David Bitton, Diesel S.p.A, DL1961 Premium Denim Inc., Eddie Bauer LLC, The Gap, Inc., Guess? Inc., H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB, Roberto Cavalli S.p.A d/b/a Just Cavalli., Koos Manufacturing, Inc. d/b/a AG Jeans and Big Star, Levi Strauss & Co., Lucky Brand Dungarees, Inc., Fashion Box S.p.A. d/b/a Replay, VF Corporation d/b/a/ 7 for All Mankind.
The ITC is an independent U.S. federal agency consisting of six commissioners appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Once a complaint is filed, the ITC has 30 days to determine whether an investigation should be instituted on the basis of the complaint. Investigations are typically completed in about 15 months. Preliminary relief is also available. A general exclusion order is requested in the complaint. This was included to prevent any and all denim jean companies from infringing on RevoLaze's patented technology, not just the 17 named in the complaint.
This complaint filing with the ITC follows 17 lawsuits filed in Cleveland U.S. District Court last Friday, August 15, naming these same 17 denim jean companies in violation of patent infringement. These lawsuits were also filed by Dentons.
RevoLaze is a family-operated American company that currently holds 29 worldwide patents for laser scribing methods to impart graphics and patterns on a variety of substrates. A significant portion of RevoLaze's intellectual property discloses the use of the laser scribing technology for fabrics such as denim. RevoLaze CEO Darryl Costin, PhD., has spent 20 years developing high-speed, high-power laser scribing technology for the denim industry. RevoLaze's laser abrasion technology replaces the sandblast process used in the creation of "worn look" denim jeans and found to be associated with a disabling and sometimes fatal lung disease called silicosis for the workers.
Major denim jean companies have banned the use of sandblasting. RevoLaze, through the use of its laser systems, can offer its patented laser abrading technology to solve this catastrophic health problem and substantially increase throughput versus the sandblast process. RevoLaze's patented processes also dramatically conserve water and reduce the amount of chemicals used in denim manufacturing.
"We have worked very hard over the last two decades to invent and patent our proprietary laser scribing technology to benefit the denim industry," says Costin. "Our goal has always been to do the right thing. We want to help protect workers. We want to conserve the environment and significantly contribute to the denim industry's green movement. We want the denim industry to continue growing and to realize cost, quality, throughput and environmental advantages with RevoLaze technology."
However, Costin also wants companies to use RevoLaze's patented technology legally. "We rely upon our numerous granted utility patents to protect our technology and to safeguard its competitive position," says Costin. "Basically there are companies out there who looked at our technology in the past, and are now selling jeans manufactured with the laser abrasion processes. We're asking the ITC to provide us protection." If the ITC agrees that imports have violated RevoLaze's patents, an exclusion order will be issued to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (of the Department of Homeland Security) excluding those products from the United States.
The advancements RevoLaze has brought to the denim industry have not gone unnoticed in the business community. Earlier this year, Roy P. Disney made an investment in RevoLaze and joined the board of the company. Mr. Disney's investment in RevoLaze was made through an investment vehicle affiliated with Shamrock Holdings, Inc., the Roy E. Disney family's investment company. In 2013, Lear Corporation reviewed the RevoLaze technology and its ability to be used in the automotive industry. Based on that review it made an equity investment in the company and has a seat on the board. Lear is one of the world's leading suppliers of automotive seating and electrical distribution systems.
About RevoLaze LLC
Through a combination of unique digital software and specifically designed material delivery systems, RevoLaze develops the highest speed, highest power galvo driven laser machines on the planet. With over 20 years of experience, and 29 patents granted worldwide, RevoLaze offers its licensees unprecedented cost reduction, throughput enhancement and design flexibility. To learn more about RevoLaze, visit www.revolaze.com.
About Shamrock Holdings, Inc.
Shamrock was founded by the late Roy E. Disney in 1978 and serves as the family office and investment vehicle for certain members of the Roy E. Disney Family. Shamrock's tenets are straightforward - invest and act with integrity, responsibility and transparency.
About Lear Corporation
Lear Corporation is one of the world's leading suppliers of automotive seating and electrical distribution systems. The company's world-class products are designed, engineered and manufactured by a diverse team of approximately 122,000 employees located in 36 countries. Lear's headquarters are in Southfield, Michigan, and Lear is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol [LEA].