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Thomas Russell

Whalen, Walker Edison settle dispute over TV mounting systems

SAN DIEGO — Ready-to-assemble furniture specialist Walker Edison has agreed to halt the sales of various flat panel television mounting systems that were at the heart of a lawsuit that competitor Whalen Furniture filed against the company for patent infringement.

Walker Edison said in a statement that while the two parties have agreed that it will discontinue all sales of the 3-in-1 mounting systems, the company may sell off its current inventory of products that were part of the lawsuit.

Both parties said they approved the press release announcing the settlement that was issued this week.

Ken Whalen, CEO of home office and home entertainment specialist Whalen Furniture, was not available for immediate comment. Officials with Walker Edison declined further comment.

In its original suit, filed in December 2011, Whalen sued Walker Edison and three other companies including Z-Line Designs, Bell'O International Corp. and TechCraft Mfg. for infringing on the patent, also known as the 311 patent, that covers a TV support and mounting system. The suit said the companies named were selling similar units in competition with Whalen.

In June 2012, Whalen announced it had received a second utility patent for the same TV mounting system and issued another set of lawsuits against the four companies. The status of the lawsuits against the other companies was not immediately clear. Z-Line Designs announced in November that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was planning to invalidate the patents and said that all claims involving the matter were invalid.

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