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Westvaco Files Patent Suit Against Four Companies Over DVD Holders

Thursday, January 18, 2001

Press release from the issuing company

NEW YORK, NY,-- Westvaco Corporation (NYSE: W) announced today that it has filed suit in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York against four defendants: Viva Magnetics Limited, Matrix Associates, Inc., Finest Industrial Co., Ltd. and Ponica Industrial Co., Ltd. The suit alleges infringement of Westvaco's U.S. Patent No. 5,788,068 on the DVD-Safe™ package. This package provides a secure holder for DVD discs, which is reliable, easily operable and minimizes the harmful flexure of DVD discs during their removal from the package. The technology covered by the patent was developed at DuBois Limited, a U.K. company that is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Westvaco Corporation. DuBois manufactures DVD-Safe packages in Europe and licenses its intellectual property to packaging firms around the world that market the product in most countries under the Amaray brand. The four defendants are responsible for importing into the United States DVD packages which infringe Westvaco's patent. Westvaco recently settled a case in its favor that involved infringement of Westvaco's patent on DVD packaging by Shoei Pack Co., Ltd., in Japan. The actions against the four companies in New York and the case settled with the Japanese firm reflect Westvaco's determination to protect its international property rights around the world. Stefan Pijanowski, a co-inventor of the patented subject matter and the Managing Director of DuBois Limited, said: "The DVD-Safe package we developed represents a significant technological improvement in DVD packaging, and it is important that we enforce our global intellectual property rights against infringers. That said, we respect the right of our competitors to market their own novel packaging improvements and believe that fair competition in development and use of new inventions is in the best interests of our industry's customers." Richard Block, President of Westvaco's Consumer Packaging Group, added that: "The action we have taken to uphold our patent rights is particularly appropriate where the defendants are ignoring those rights in the context of industries such as music and video which themselves depend so heavily on respect for intellectual property." Westvaco is seeking an injunction against the defendants prohibiting their further manufacture, use, sale or importation into the United States of infringing DVD holders and also an award of damages for past infringement of the patent. Both Viva Magnetics Limited and Finest Industrial Co., Ltd., are based in Hong Kong; Matrix Associates, Inc., in Pacific Palisades, CA; and Ponica Industrial Co., Ltd., in Corona, CA.




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