3M Sues XPEL Technologies For Patent Infringement
Manufacturing giant 3M filed a patent infringement lawsuit on Tuesday accusing XPEL Technologies Corporation of replicating a paint protection film it developed to protect vehicles from scratches, stains, bug acids and rock chips.
3M claims San Antonio-based XPEL, a software developer and manufacturer of XPF Paint Production Film (the product at issue in this case), not only infringed on the 3M’s nearly decade-old paint technology, but also “targeted and/or concentrated” sales through dealers located in Minnesota. The Maplewood-based manufacturer of Scotch Tape, Post-It notes and other industrial supplies is hoping the Court will take personal jurisdiction over XPEL in this case.
According to the court filing, 3M said XPEL sold its paint film product to at least nine Minnesota dealers, including Northland Resources, A&L Auto Detail Inc., Bravo Auto Bra, Midwest Clear Bra and Trim Doctor.
3M’s protective film product, developed by Woodbury residents Charlie Ho and Kenneth Halford, is a transparent, multilayer polyurethane film applied over a vehicle’s paint job. XPEL has advertised its own product as designed to “protect the leading edge of your vehicle from damage caused by rocks, gravel, salt or insects through the application of a thin and virtually invisible urethane paint protection film.”
A spokesperson for 3M said the company “would not comment on pending litigation.” XPEL could not be reached for comment.
In its court filing, 3M said it would be seeking damages equal to the sales XPEL gained through infringement, as well as costs to cover attorneys’ fees and expenses. A specific dollar amount was not indicated within the filing.
3M was recently picked as a company to watch in 2016 after an RBC Capital Markets analyst told TCB that 3M is poised for “an optimistic 7-10 percent growth” in sales next year in developing countries, and similarly so in other high-growth markets like China.