Zenon clears major hurdle in lawsuit with USFilter

Zenon Environmental Inc. announced that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California has ruled that U.S. Patent No. 6,620,319 (the '319 patent) relating to membrane module construction, the subject of a patent infringement suit brought by Zenon against USFilter, continues to be presumed valid...

OAKVILLE, ON, Canada, May 9, 2005 (PRNewswire-FirstCall) -- Zenon Environmental Inc. announced that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California has ruled that U.S. Patent No. 6,620,319 (the '319 patent), the subject of a patent infringement suit brought by Zenon against USFilter, continues to be presumed valid.

On Oct. 8, 2003, Zenon filed a patent infringement action against USFilter complaining of infringement of three Zenon owned patents relating to water treatment, most importantly, the '319 patent relating to membrane module construction. In the course of these proceedings, USFilter among other things, alleged the invalidity of the '319 patent which if successful would have affected other patents in the same patent family. The parties recently agreed to a bench trial on the issue of the validity of the '319 patent. The trial was conducted in San Diego on April 27-28, 2005. A ruling from the Court was delivered on May 5, 2005 in which the Court ruled in favor of Zenon strongly refuting all of defendant USFilter's contentions.

Zenon CEO Andrew Benedek stated that "The decision clears perhaps the single most significant hurdle in our path toward proving our claims and our request for an injunction to stop infringement by USFilter. We respect the intellectual property rights of others and expect our principles to be reciprocated. We have a responsibility to our shareholders to press forward and prevent continued misappropriation of our rights. Furthermore, the court's decision is extremely clear and well reasoned."

While the infringement of the '319 patent is no longer an immediate issue due to an adverse ruling made in November of 2004 (which Zenon will appeal), Zenon filed a further patent infringement action against US Filter on January 11, 2005, on its United States Patent No. 6,682,652 (the '652 patent) which is part of the same family as the '319 patent. The '652 patent is now the primary focus of Zenon's infringement action and the merits of that case are greatly strengthened on the basis of this ruling. A full trial on the '652 patent is expected in 2006.

Zenon, which was represented by DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP, is gratified and vindicated by the decision and continues to be confident that issues of infringement will ultimately be resolved in its favor.

Zenon (www.zenon.com) is a world leader in providing advanced membrane products and services for water purification, wastewater treatment and water reuse to municipalities and industries worldwide. In 2004, Corporate Knights, a business publication addressing corporate responsibility, ranked the company Canada's top Corporate Citizen, for the second time. Canada's Top 100 Employers ranked Zenon in their top 100 list for the last five years.

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