July 11, 2011: 3M IPC and 3M have sued Gojo Industries for patent infringement. The patent-in-suit is US7651990, titled "Foamable alcohol compositions comprising alcohol and a silicone surfactant, systems and methods of use". 3M IPC is the owner by assignment of all rights of the '990 patent and 3M is the exclusive licensee of the '990 patent.
3M IPC has asserted in its lawsuit filed in the United States District court of Minnesota that Gojo has infringed on the '990 patent by making, using, importing into the United States and offering to sale foamable, non-aerosol compositions that include alcohol as a disinfecting and/or antimicrobial agent. The complaint cites "Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer Foam" manufactured by Gojo as an example of the product that infringes the '990 patent.
An interesting thing to observe is that 3M had sued Gojo on January 26, 2010 for infringement of '990 patent. However, Mark S. Lerner had sworn through an affidavit that no accused product had been made or sold for Gojo since january 26, 2010 (which happens to be the issue date of the '990 patent). 3M had voluntarily dismissed the suit against Gojo based on the sworn affidavit on March 12, 2010.
In the latest lawsuit filed on July 11, 2011, 3M has asserted that Gojo has continued to infringe on the '990 patent by manufacturing and selling Purell Instant Hand Sanitizer Foam since January 26, 2010. Gojo has thus requested for damages as a result of Gojo's infringement, both pre-judgement and post-judgement.