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Armstrong wins patent case

BY HBSDEALER Staff

After a two-week trial in U.S. District Court, a Milwaukee jury has found in favor of Armstrong World Industries in a patent infringement case filed by rival flooring manufacturer Pergo. At issue is an interlocking technology for laminate flooring made for Armstrong by Alloc, a Norway company with offices in Racine, Wis.

Pergo was seeking $85 million in lost profits as well as future royalties. The lawsuit was originally filed in 2002. An attorney for the Swedish company, which has a U.S. division headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., told the Milwaukee Business Journal that Pergo would file a motion to set aside the jury verdict.

Based in Lancaster, Pa., Armstrong has sold an estimated $500 million of Alloc-made laminate flooring over a five-year period.

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Louisiana-Pacific in venture with Chilean firm

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Wood products giant Louisiana-Pacific has announced a planned joint venture agreement with Chile-based Masisa for oriented strand board (OSB) manufacturing capabilities in Ponta Grossa, Brazil.

The OSB assets were placed in service in 2003 and have an annual production capacity of 375 million square feet, according to a joint news release from the companies.

“This is an important addition to [Louisiana-Pacific’s] investments in South America and will accelerate progress toward our strategic objective of growing our international business,” said Rick Olszewski, executive vp-sales of Louisiana-Pacific’s specialty products businesses, and president of LP South America. “The Brazilian assets will help us continue to satisfy the growing need for structural panels in South America.”

LP currently operates an OSB and siding mill in Panguipulli, Chile, and is opening a second mill in Lautaro, Chile, in the first quarter of 2008. Additionally, LP is in the planning process of relocating its Woodland, Maine, OSB assets to a to-be-determined location in South America.

Louisiana-Pacific, based in Nashville, Tenn., is one of North America’s largest suppliers of building products.

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Hughes Lumber expanding

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Hughes Lumber will move its headquarters to the Tulsa Port of Catoosa in 2008, according to a report in the Tulsa (Oklahoma) World newspaper.

The relocation is part of president Robert Hughes’ plan to expand the company’s port facility from five to 11 acres and will result in Hughes closing its administrative office in south Tulsa and a lumberyard in Owasso, according to the report.

Construction on the port facility begins in January and should be completed by September, the company said.

The Catoosa operation will put Hughes Lumber close to the interstate highway system, Hughes added. The lumber company supplies builders throughout Oklahoma and several neighboring states.

Hughes Lumber began as a hardware store in the early 20th century and became a lumber supplier by 1920. The Hughes family moved the administrative offices to Tulsa in the 1970s and opened a door shop and distribution operation at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa about 10 years ago.

Hughes Lumber employs about 40 people in the Tulsa area, as well as many seasonal workers. Its lumberyards are located in Bartlesville, Muskogee, Stillwater, Enid and Ponca City.

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