GREENWICH, CT -- Presstek, Inc., a leading manufacturer and marketer of digital offset printing business solutions, today announced that the International Trade Commission ("ITC") has determined that VIM Technologies, Ltd. has violated U.S. Federal law by importing into the United States printing plates that infringe upon patents owned by Presstek. In its finding, the ITC affirmed the July 24, 2009, decision of Administrative Law Judge E. James Gildea, who ruled that Presstek's patents for its printing plate technology are valid and enforceable and that VIM has been infringing Presstek's legally protected rights by importing and selling these plates illegally in the United States. The Company expects the ITC to ban importation of VIM's illegal printing plates into the United States. Further, the Company is seeking an order requiring destruction of all illegal plates in the United States.
Judge Gildea ruled that VIM was in clear violation of the Presstek patents and also found that VIM continued to manufacture and sell its infringing products despite knowing, as early as 2004, that the products might infringe Presstek's patent rights. In addition, Judge Gildea found VIM's manufacturing partner, Hanita Coatings RCA, Ltd., liable for illegally inducing the infringement of Presstek's patents. The Judge also determined that the other respondents to the ITC proceeding, including Spicer's Paper, Inc.; Guaranteed Service and Supplies, Inc.; Recognition Systems, Inc.; and AteCe Canada, should be banned from importing the infringing VIM products for sale or for any other purpose into the United States.
The ruling by the ITC represents yet another absolute victory by Presstek in its lengthy patent infringement battle with VIM. In April 2009, the Regional Court in Dusseldorf, Germany, found Presstek's European patents to be infringed by VIM's illegal plates. That Court ordered VIM, the German distributor Reinsch Handel, and the owner of the distributor, Andreas Reinsch, to cease all sales of infringing VIM printing plates. Although VIM has appealed this decision, Presstek is confident it will prevail on appeal.
In commenting on the ITC ruling, James R. Van Horn, Presstek's General Counsel, said, "This ruling by International Trade Commission should bring to an end VIM's illegal pirating of Presstek's valuable intellectual property in the United States. The ITC ruling should also send a clear message to printers and distributors around the world that VIM is an illegal infringer of Presstek's intellectual property rights. The ITC's decision, combined with the decisions of respected tribunals in both the U.S. and Europe, make it clear that purchasing or distributing these illegitimate VIM products is illegal and carries significant risk. As a result, Presstek considers the sale of VIM printing plates by any party to be an illegal, intentional and willful violation of our patent rights and will take all appropriate action to protect those rights and recover all damages resulting from this illegal infringement."