Patent Wars Commence
Posted Feb 10, 2014, Published February 2014
As the enormous marketing potential of laminate veneers became evident, patent infringement cases began. While DenMat held various material patents, two other companies—Jaff Investment Co., owned by brothers Al and Frank Faunce, and Deneer, Inc., owned by Tom Greggs—held patents on the fabrication process.
However, many laboratories were still producing laminates on their own and this fueled a number of lawsuits and out-of-court settlements. In 1992, the issue reared its head again when laboratories around the country received letters from Yukiyo Ltd.—which had purchased an existing patent for the refractory method of fabricating porcelain veneers—saying they were infringing on the patent. Nearly five years later, the patent was declared invalid.
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