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Hunter Douglas settles patent infringement case

BY HBSDEALER Staff

High-end home treatments manufacturer Hunter Douglas has settled a patent infringement lawsuit with Shaoxing, China-based Shaoxing Hengfeng Curtain Factory.

Hunter Douglas filed the lawsuit in April, saying Shaoxing Hengfeng infringed three United States patents on the company’s “Silhouette” window shadings. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

The court issued an injunction against Shaoxing Hengfeng, ordering the company to stop selling the products and to destroy all products under the infringement case.

“The resolution of this matter should send a clear message to other prospective infringers who may be considering entering the U.S. market to be very careful to ensure that their products do not infringe our patents,” said Marv Hopkins, president and CEO of Hunter Douglas.

Upper Saddle River, N.J.-based Hunter Douglas manufactures window coverings for the professional DIY markets.

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Fraser announces mill shutdown

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Toronto-based wood pulp company Fraser Papers has announced the closure of a Juniper, New Brunswick-based mill that manufactures pulp-based supplies and lumber products for home builders.

The company will shut down the mill for up to 11 months starting Oct. 5. Fraser cited a weak housing market in the United States, continued oversupply of lumber and a strong Canadian dollar for contributing to Ounsustainable operating losses at the mill.O

In addition, reduced logging activity in recent months has significantly reduced the supply of wood from private lands,O the company said in a statement.

“Despite significant efforts by our employees to minimize costs and improve operations, we have been absorbing significant cash losses at our Juniper sawmill,” said Peter Gordon, president and CEO of Fraser Papers

Fraser said it expects tough market conditions will persist into 2008. The shutdown will impact approximately 175 employees at the mill.

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Home Depot holds grand opening in China

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Home Depot’s long-awaited entry into China became official Aug. 26 with grand opening festivities at rebranded stores in six locations. The former Home Way units, purchased in December 2006, were remodeled and remerchandised, according to the Atlanta-based retailer. Sales associates also received additional training over the past eight months.

Altogether, Home Depot will operate 12 stores in six cities: Tianjin, Beijing, Xi’an, Qingdao, Shenyang and Zhengzhou. 

Annette Verschuren, president of Home Depot Asia and Canada, presided over inaugural ceremonies in Beijing. Also on hand was Yves Chen, president of Home Depot China. 

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