Happy New Year: A Look at the Top Stories of 2017

December 27th, 2017 by Katherine Coig

From lawsuits and acquisitions to new state regulations—it’s been quite a busy year for the window film industry. With that in mind, here are the top five stories that generated the most traffic on WindowFilmMag.com throughout 2017.

1. Blindsided: N.Y. Inspection Law Takes Tinters by Surprise

In January, tint shop owners in New York State were met with the news that Gov. Cuomo signed a bill into law that would require the VLT testing of window tint be a mandatory part of a vehicle’s annual state inspection. If a car’s tint registers below 70-percent VLT, it won’t pass the inspection.

The state’s law already cited 70-percent as the legal limit, however, the news still caught some shop owners off-guard.

“They basically blindsided us with this,” explained Christian Zagami, owner and operator of WC Tint in Staten Island, N.Y. “They’ve tried to pass this for years, so we didn’t pay much attention. But come July-August, it started getting more attention. And the next thing we know, the bill was passed in what seemed like overnight.”

Zagami, as well as others, were worried the high VLT requirement would put many small shops out of business.

“It’s absolutely going to push some tint-shops out of business,” said Dan Dinardo, owner of Auto Trim Design in White Plains, N.Y. “New York State has a very unreasonable law. Window tint is something that has value. When used responsibly, it has great benefits. 35 percent is reasonable for both police officers and consumers.”

2. N.Y. Tinters Begin to See Effects of New Tint Law

A month after New York State began to implement the testing of tint in its annual vehicle state inspections, shop owners reported that their businesses had already began to feel the effects.

“My customers always came back. But now, they have their tint removed, they say ‘bye-bye,’ and I never see them again,” said Sergio Camacho, owner of Supreme Tint in Staten Island, N.Y. Camacho mentioned that it’s not uncommon for people in the state to lease their cars, which brought him a loyal following over the past 10 years. “ … I’d see repeat customers every two years. But now they’re afraid to get tint and get ticketed. It’s a $130 fee plus the cost of the inspection.”

3. Asian Distributor Sues Eastman

In April, a South Korean distributor sued Eastman Chemical Company for allegedly knowing and selling defective films after one of three key ingredients was removed post-merger of Commonwealth Laminating and Coating Inc. The alleged missing ingredient was never named in the court documents.

A judge dismissed the case against Eastman due to lack of personal jurisdiction in October.

4. 3M and XPEL Settle Lawsuit

After nearly two years of court filings, 3M and XPEL reached a settlement agreement in a patent infringement lawsuit brought forth by 3M on December 30, 2015 in federal district court in Minnesota.

3M claimed XPEL’s XPF paint protection film (PPF) infringed upon its U.S. Patent No. 8,765,263 (`263), which is “a multilayer protective film comprising a first layer, a second layer and a pressure-sensitive adhesive layer.” XPEL denied the allegations.

In March, the two manufacturers agreed to a settlement in which XPEL would acquire a license to the patent.

The terms of the agreement were kept confidential.

5. Avery Dennison Exec Talks Hanita Acquisition

Early in the year, Avery Dennison announced the acquisition of Israel-based Hanita Coatings had been completed. The company purchased the manufacturer from Kibbutz Hanita and Tene Investment Funds for $75 million USD.

Following the announcement, Bill Podojil, Avery Dennison’s senior business director of graphic solutions within the Materials Group North America (NA), gave insight to Window Film magazine on the acquisition, as well as where the future of the new Avery Dennison Hanita is headed.

This article is from Focus on Film, the weekly e-newsletter that covers the latest news regarding window film and related products, including paint protection film. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to Window Film magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge HERE.

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