The 22-page complaint was filed this morning in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
The case relates to Glasslam’s entry into the warm edge foam spacer market in 2007 with its EPD Air-Tight™ spacer, and Edgetech’s own warm edge foam Super Spacer® product.
Glasslam catalogs several claims, including allegations that Edgetech “began its anti-competitive conduct before Glasslam could produce its first foot of product.” The company alleges that Edgetech pressured suppliers that manufacture raw materials used in foam spacers not to sell to Glasslam, with the threats of litigation. Among the suppliers named are Gold Key Processing Ltd. in Middlefield, Ohio, which provides EPDM rubber; two adhesive suppliers, CCT Tapes in Philadelphia and MACtac North America of Stow Ohio; and two silicone suppliers, Dow Corning of Midland, Mich., and Wacker Chemie AG of Lehigh, Pa.
“In addition to exerting pressure on suppliers of raw materials, Edgetech pressured equipment manufacturers not to do business with Glasslam,” continues the company, which alleges that Lisec America Inc. “would not discuss equipment opportunities with Glasslam despite the downturn in commercial construction.”
Glasslam also claims that “Edgetech conspires with trade associations and certification councils to keep Glasslam’s EPDM warm edge foam spacer from the market.” The company names the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) and the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Association of Canada (IGMAC) specifically, and alleges that “Edgetech personnel control the certification process and committees and [have] utilize[d] anti-competitive tactics with [IGMA’s Insulating Glass Certification Committee] IGCC to keep Glasslam’s spacer from getting to the market.”
Glasslam claims that in May 2008 the “Edgetech-led IGCC concluded that one manufacturer’s spacer system cannot be considered the equivalent of another manufacturer’s spacer system under any circumstance.”
“The effect of this ruling required any window manufacturer who wanted to purchase Glasslam’s product instead of Edgetech’s to obtain a new certification which included a lengthy and expensive testing process,” writes Glasslam. “Through this one move, made possible by its control of IGCC, Edgetech set Glasslam’s entry in the market back by over a year.”
Glasslam further alleges that “Edgetech blackmails customers to prevent Glasslam competition with the foam spacer.” Among the charges in this section of the complaint, Glasslam claims that when it began selling its black Air-Tight foam spacer at a lower price than Edgetech’s price for a similar black product, it found that some customers who might have purchased the black spacer product from Edgetech began purchasing it from Glasslam.
“When Edgetech learned that some of its customers had bought or intended to buy Glasslam’s black foam spacer instead of Edgetech’s, Edgetech threatened to cut off the customer’s supply of Edgetech’s spacers in other colors, as well as related tools and accessories,” writes Glasslam.
Among charges of defamation, the complaint claims that “Edgetech told Glasslam’s prospective customers that Glasslam was using Edgetech’s standard Super Spacer in its testing in order to pass certification because Glasslam’s Air Tight spacer was not capable of passing.”
The complaint continues, “As a direct and proximate result of Edgetech’s false, defamatory statements of fact, Glasslam lost business and sustained damage to its business reputation.”
Glasslam charges Edgetech with two counts of violation of the Sherman Act, one count of violation of the Clayton Act, two counts in violation of Florida statutes, a count of defamation, a count of violation of Florida’s deceptive and unfair trade practices, and breech of contract.
Glasslam is seeking a judgment for damages, along with attorneys’ fees and court costs.
Edgetech officials declined to comment on the case.