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Posted September 10, 2009 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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Trex wins patent dispute on appeal

WINCHESTER — After eight years of costly litigation, Trex has won a patent lawsuit on appeal, the company announced late Wednesday.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed a federal district court ruling that the composite decking manufacturer’s hidden fastening system did not infringe on patents owned by carpenter Ron Nystrom.

Nystrom, who is credited with inventing an exterior wood flooring board designed to shed water while also providing a stable surface on which to walk and stand, filed the suit in 2001.

William R. Gupp, Trex’s vice president, general counsel and secretary, said in a statement the suit was “completely without merit, and we aggressively defended it on that basis,” adding, “This Court of Appeals decision provides finality on this case, which was time-consuming and costly, and we are very pleased to have prevailed.”

Trex recently settled a class-action suit filed in California by a customer group that claimed their decks suffered from surface flaking. The company has acknowledged a manufacturing problem at its Fernley, Nev., plant dating to 2003, but says it was isolated to the West Coast, affected only a small percentage of decking materials and has been remedied.

— Daily Staff Report

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