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Ecolab Dismisses Lawsuit Against Gurtler

Company claimed patent infringement on sanitizing laundry sour

MINNEAPOLIS —Ecolab Inc. has dismissed an infringement lawsuit the company had filed against Gurtler Industries, according to court documents and Gurtler. 

The lawsuit, filed by Ecolab’s Textile Care Division in 2014, claimed Gurtler had infringed on its Patent No. 6,262,013: “Sanitizing Laundry Sour” issued on July 21, 2001.  

In response to the suit, Gurtler contended that the patent was invalid and asked the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) to open a re-examination of the patent claims. 

After a re-examination and appeals process, Gurtler says USPTO determined that the Ecolab patent was invalid on Aug. 29, 2018.

Judge Joan N. Ericksen of the U.S. District Court of Minnesota signed the order dismissing the case in early February.

“In a classic David and Goliath story, we have battled and won along every step of the process,” says Greg Gurtler, president of Gurtler Industries. “The Patent Office rejected Ecolab’s position four times, so it appears they agreed with Gurtler that the patent was invalid and, ultimately, that we did nothing wrong.”

A representative from Ecolab says the company has no comment on the dismissal.