Canadian Consulting Engineer

Zenon and USFilter battle over patents

Two manufacturers of water treatment systems are locking horns in a legal battle over patent infringements. Zenon E...

October 14, 2003   Canadian Consulting Engineer

Two manufacturers of water treatment systems are locking horns in a legal battle over patent infringements. Zenon Environmental of Oakville, Ontario has filed a patent infringement suit against US Filter, owned by the French company Veolia Environnement.
Zenon makes membrane filtration systems that are used in a wide variety of water treatment plants, including in the Walkerton township following the famous outbreak of E:Coli 157 in 2001. The company is seeking damages and an injunction to stop the sale, manufacture and use of US Filter’s MemJet and CMF-S products.
The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, alleges that US Filter’s MemJet and CMF-S immersed membrane products infringe Zenon’s United States Patent Nos. 6,245,239 and 6,550,747 relating to the use of air cycling to keep membranes clean and its United States Patent No. 6,620 319 relating to membrane module configuration.
"Protecting innovation is something companies across industries do in order to ensure continued innovation," said Zenon legal counsel Lisa Bolton. "Our industry is no different. We do not take this step lightly. But, we are confident in our decision to proceed with this lawsuit and will take action as necessary to protect our intellectual property."
U.S. Filter ‘s President in charge of water and wastewater systems group, Frank Firsching, in turn says: “Our membrane products are themeselves patented and do not infringe any claim of the Zenon patents, and we look forward to demonstrating our view in court.”
A USFilter press release notes that the Zenon suit follows USFilter’s opposition to Zenon patent applications in a number of countries.
Zenon won the prestigious 2003 Stockholm Industry Water Award for its innovative approaches to the development of water and wastewater process technologies and its contributions to environmental improvement.


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