Presstek, Inc. , a leading manufacturer and marketer of digital offset printing business solutions, today announced that the International Trade Commission ("ITC") has ruled that VIM Technologies, Ltd. has violated the United States Tariff Act of 1930 by importing into the United States printing plates that illegally infringe the patents owned by Presstek. In its November 30, 2009 ruling, the ITC affirmed the prior 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 VIM's illegally infringing plates in the United States.
The ITC confirmed Judge Gildea's finding that VIM is in violation of the Presstek patents. Judge Gildea 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. The ITC ordered that VIM's manufacturing partner, Hanita Coatings RCA, Ltd. and the other respondents to the ITC proceeding, including Spicer's Paper, Inc., Guaranteed Service and Supplies, Inc., Recognition Systems, Inc. and AteCe Canada are banned from importing and selling the infringing VIM products in the United States.
The ruling by the ITC represents another victory by Presstek in its patent infringement battle with VIM. In April 2009, the Regional Court in Dusseldorf, Germany found Presstek's European patents to be infringed by VIM. The 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. The German court ruled that VIM is liable to Presstek for damages, including damages relating to all VIM plate sales in Germany dating back to 2003. VIM has appealed this decision, but Presstek expects to prevail on appeal.
In commenting on the ITC ruling, James R. Van Horn, Presstek's General Counsel said, "VIM Technologies has been intentionally and illegally pirating Presstek's technology for years. We now have rulings in the United States and Europe declaring VIM's products to be illegitimate. With VIM effectively precluded from the U.S. market as a result of this ruling and their U.S. distributors banned from importing and selling the infringing products, Presstek can now focus its full attention to serving the needs of all customers for its patented printing plate technology."