Knauf Insulation files patent infringement suit
Knauf Insulation, the Shelbyville, Ind.-based manufacturer, has filed a patent infringement action against CertainTeed Corp. in an Indiana federal court. According to the lawsuit, Knauf Insulation mineral wool is made with ECOSE technology, a sustainable binder technology based on rapidly renewable bio-based materials rather than petroleum-based chemicals commonly used in traditional fiberglass insulation products.
Knauf alleges that CertainTeed, a subsidiary of Saint Gobain, infringed on the intellectual property rights of ECOSE technology when it manufactured and sold its Sustainable Insulation product. According to CertainTeed’s Web page, the Valley Forge, Pa., company uses recycled and renewable content including a plant-based, formaldehyde-free binder to make its Sustainable Insulation product.
CertainTeed issued the following statement: "CertainTeed strongly denies the allegations of patent infringement contained in the Complaint filed today by Knauf in US District Court. Moreover, CertainTeed and its international affiliates have their own unique and proprietary sustainable insulation binder formulation and have filed patent applications throughout the world on this formulation."
Trex Co. Q4 sales jump 47%
Winchester, Va.-based Trex Co. reported net sales for the fourth quarter of 2010 totaled $75.3 million, up 47% from net sales of $51.2 million for the 2009 fourth quarter.
The wood-alternative decking and railing manufacturer reported a net loss of $0.5 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2010, compared with a net loss of $0.3 million in the 2009 period.
“Sales broke our fourth-quarter record as both distributors and dealers responded enthusiastically to our products, sales programs and pricing strategy," said Ronald Kaplan, chairman, president and CEO.
During the 2010 quarter, Trex recognized $4.1 million of unusual charges, which included a $5.2 million increase to its warranty reserve for decking material manufactured at its Nevada plant prior to mid-2006, offset by a $1.1 million reduction to supply contract-related charges taken in prior 2010 quarters.
For the full year, Trex reported net sales of $317.7 million, a 17% increase compared with net sales of $272.3 million for 2009. The company’s 2010 net loss of $10.1 million compares with a $16.9 million loss in 2009.
In total, the company recognized $21.3 million of unusual charges during 2010, including a $15.0 million increase to its warranty reserve for decking material.
Great Southern aligns with U.S. Lumber
Abbeville, Ala.-based Great Southern Wood Preserving formed an alliance with specialty building materials distributor U.S. Lumber Group.
Under the new alliance, an affiliate of Great Southern will become a minority investor in U.S. Lumber and customers of both companies will leverage the benefits of increased volume purchasing and sharing of "best practices." No jobs will be adversely affected, nor are management changes anticipated, the companies announced.
The move is designed to expand the geographic distribution footprint of both companies, give customers the benefit of new economies of scale, and create new growth momentum, the companies announced.
The alignment was further described as a "innovative marketing and operations model."
"This is an exciting development for both companies, our employees and customers," said Jimmy Rane, chairman, president and CEO of Great Southern Wood Preserving. "It will create a vehicle for growth at a time when the economy in general and new housing starts in particular continue to struggle."
Great Southern will gain new markets for its YellaWood brand products through U. S. Lumber’s distribution network, expanding in mid-Atlantic states. At the same time, U. S. Lumber will widen its reach by making its broad range of specialty products available in Great Southern’s extensive dealer base in the Midwest, Southwest and the Caribbean.