The Middle District of North Carolina Court has dismissed a federal complaint by Indian textile company Globe Cotyarn seeking to invalidate all ten of the patents belonging to Dallas, Texas-based AAVN.
These relate to the manufacturing of high thread count textiles – particularly those for cotton rich bed sheets.
AAVN’s patented Alpha Cotton high thread count fabrics are associated with higher quality, durability and opulence and consequently, retailers charge a premium price for bedsheets based on them. The advertised thread count is the “apples to apples” comparison consumers can use in differentiating the relative quality of sheet sets. These patents are the only way that cotton rich sheets can meet correct thread count standards, AAVN asserts, but some manufacturers of bedsheets have deliberately and systematically misrepresented the thread counts of their products to achieve higher margins for inferior products.
In addition to the harm caused to consumers by this, potentially innocent retailers can also be harmed by consumer class action lawsuits, which was recently the case for Macy’s and the reported $10.5 million nationwide class settlement resolving thread count allegations.
“AAVN is going to defend its patents to maintain the integrity of its products and protect consumers,” said Cory Johnson of Winstead PC, who represented AAVN. “Since AAVN issued the patents the high thread count cotton rich sheets have defined aspirational luxury, with annual retail sales of more than $1 billion.”
The dismissal of Globe Cotyarn’s case follows prior judicial proceedings before the Southern District of New York and the International Trade Commission several years ago. Those cases were also dismissed or otherwise settled with litigants acknowledging and agreeing to the validity of AAVN’s patents. For almost a decade, AAVN has successfully defended the enforceability of its patents from litigants challenging their validity and enforceability based on allegations of invalidating prior art.