SPRINGS CLAIMS VICTORY IN PATENT LAWSUITS
Springs Window Fashions Division, Inc., Middleton, WI, a unit of Springs Industries, Inc., announces that it has prevailed in a patent infringement action brought by Newell Window Furnishings, Inc., Freeport, IL, and Kirsch, Stugis, MI, both of which now are units of NewellRubbermaid Inc.
The suit was filed in early 1998 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. In the suit, Newell and Kirsch alleged that single-cell cellular shades sold by Springs under the trademarks GraberŪ, Maestro, BaliŪ Solitare and BaliŪ Today infringed two patents owned by Newell. According to a Springs statement, U.S. Magistrate Judge P. Michael Mahoney in Rockford, IL, in a decision dated October 7, 1999, entered a judgement that the claims of the patents were invalid over the prior art, and that the patents were unenforceable in light of inequitable conduct which was committed before the Patent and Trademark Office.
Springs also announces that another patent infringement suit brought by Newell against Springs in 1998 was dismissed on September 17, 1999. This second suit involved another Newell patent relating to processes for sizing blinds at retail stores.
TRAVIS UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP
Travis Industries, Tustin, CA, is under new ownership as of July 1, 1999. The new owners and management team are committed to establishing superior levels of customer service for the window coverings industry and to achieve this objective have expanded the company's output capacity by 50 percent.
Travis maintains a large inventory of prefinished stock one- and two-inch wood blind components in basswood, yellow poplar and ramin. Shipments from stock colors are available in 24 hours, custom finishes are ready in 10 working days. Travis is noted for its quality, achieved as a result of more then 20 years experience at finishing wood blind components. In addition to supplying finished wood products, Travis also produces its own millwork.
INNOVATIVE OPENINGS OPENS NEW BOULDER SHOWROOM
Innovative Openings, Inc., Louisville, CO, announces the grand opening of a new Boulder, CO, showroom. The newly acquired 2,200-square-foot facility combines the company's existing Boulder location and the acquired Deja View Window Coverings' showroom at 1672 30th St., Boulder, CO 80301. The current telephone number, (303) 449-6465, connects to the new location. Innovative Openings acquired the assets of Deja View Window Coverings and Interiors earlier this year. (See D&WC, June 1999, page 14.)
The new showroom features an expanded selection of drapery fabrics and full-size window covering and awning displays. It will be marketed under the Innovative Openings name. The store's staff will be increased to handle customer service needs from both Innovative Openings and Deja View customers.
Innovative Openings also has showrooms in Denver and Ft. Collins selling a full range of window coverings and shading products to residential and commercial markets. (See D&WC, April 1999, page 30.)
SUPERIOR ADDS NEW COLOR CHOICES TO DREAMWOOD[TM]
Superior Shade & Blind Co., Inc., Pompano Beach, FL, has added two new embossed color choices to its Dreamwoods product line: Birch and Natural.
The Dreamwoods product line of two-inch foamwood horizontal blind slats is available in two style choices: smooth and embossed. The collection now features five color choices in smooth finish and four colors in embossed finish.
Dreamwoods is part of Superior's Millennium Collection[TM].
MARK INTRODUCES NEW WOOD SAMPLER AND SHADE LINES
Mark Window Products, Santa Ana, CA, introduces a new sampler for its wood blinds and two new collections of grass and bamboo shades.
The wood blind sampler features Mark's Masterpiece Collection, which includes High Gloss, Ponderosa, Marble, Old World Specialty, Textures and Chaparral. The compact, easy-to-carry sampler shows the blinds in four-color, room-setting photography. Each sampler comes with it own pull-out mini-deck that includes samples of all blind colors and finishes and selling copy.
The Natural Collection and Standard Collection of grass and bamboo shades are available in 43 selections, are constructed from fibers, reeds and grasses and appeal to today's environment-conscious consumers. All shades come with solid wood headrails, right or left cord operation, six-inch built-in valances, heavy-duty swivel multi-cord locks and hand-crafted tassles.
FOREST CENTER HONORED
The Forest Discovery Center, Starlight, IN, was chosen to receive one of two 1999 Good Steward Awards from The National Arbor Day Foundation. The award honors those who show extraordinary effort in tree planting and conservation work.
The Forest Discovery Center is an educational facility located on the premises of Koetter Woodworking. The 24,000-square-foot center contains an indoor forest as well as other exhibits that promote education about responsible forest management.
Koetter Woodworking is a family-owned manufacturer of hardwood moldings, doors, wood blind components, flooring and cabinet components that currently employs 400 people. The company has been actively involved in reforestation efforts for many years, currently planting approximately 50,000 trees each year.
Tom and Mary Frances Koetter, founders, and Carol Lewis, center director, received the Good Steward Award along with other award recipients at a ceremony held in Nebraska City, NE, in May.
WORKROOM CONFERENCE SEES INCREASED PARTICIPATION
The Sew WHAT? Newsletter's Third Annual Workroom Educational Conference held in Asheville, NC, this past September was regarded a tremendous success with 50 percent more attendees than last year and an increase in vendor participation as wellŽsome coming from as far away as England.
Visitors traveled from almost every state in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada to attend this event, which offered nearly 30 seminars, an extensive vendor display area and factual, open-forum sessions.