Recent patent infringement cases filed in U.S. District Courts

Marilyn Tennissen Nov. 12, 2008, 3:00pm

Beaumont Division, Eastern District of Texas

Nov. 6

  • General Technologies Inc. vs. Dayton Superior Corp.

    Plaintiff GTI, a Texas corporation based in Stafford, claims it holds the rights to U.S. Patent No. 5,664,390 issued on Aug. 11, 1998, for Bolster for Use in Construction.

    The '390 patent relates generally to bolsters that are used in concrete construction for the support of post-tention cables, rebars, or mesh in deck construction activities.

    "On information and belief, Dayton is aware of the '390 patent for the bolster and Dayton is knowingly and willfully infringing GTI's patent rights," the complaint states. "On information and belief, Dayton is profiting from sale of the patented technology."

    GTI claims it is entitled to damages not less than a reasonable royalty on the patented bolsters being infringed and seeks a reasonable royalty for sales of the infringing products and sales of
    conveyed products. GTI also claims it is entitled to and seeks an injunction against future sales of the product.

    "Due to Dayton's infringement GTI has incurred and will continue to incur irreparable harm without the requested injunctive relief," the complaint states.

    GTI is asking for an order for Dayton to deliver up to the court for destruction all articles infringing upon the claims of the '390 patent, including the tools, dies and molds used for the manufacture of the infringing articles.

    John Egbert of Houston is representing the plaintiff.

    The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone.

    Case No. 1:08-cv-646-MAC

    Sherman Division, Eastern District of Texas

    Nov. 6

  • Safety Link International Inc. vs. Bruce Boyd, individually, and Manufacturer Direct Ltd.

    Plaintiff Safety Link is a Texas corporation based in Frisco. Defendant Bruce Boyd is an individual who resides in Canada and Manufacturer Direct is a Canadian corporation.

    The plaintiff alleges that defendants have misappropriated its trade secrets, infringed on a pending patent of plaintiff's, attempted to misappropriate and infringe on plaintiff's trademark, interfered with plaintiff's customers by tortuous interference and breached fiduciary duty owed to plaintiff.

    According to the original complaint, the relationship between Safety Link and Bruce Boyce began in August 2004 when Boyce contacted the plaintiff. Boyce was seeking information on the Wheel Nut Management System that Safety Link was selling.

    The suit states that Boyce had a sales brochure from Safety Link that he was showing to some of his clients and inquired about the warranty on the product and asked if he could get samples of the product. After receiving the samples, Boyce began making suggestions that the product could be made in Canada.

    According to the complaint, Safety Link sent Boyce a CD that contained product information and materials that could be presented to customers to show how the system worked. As the relationship developed, the plaintiff claims it shipped product samples and fliers to Boyce in April 2005.

    "At this point, Bruce Boyce tells Safety Link that he estimates that he can sell 250,000 clips each month," the suit states. "Bruce Boyce is obviously excited about selling the product for Safety Link."

    In April 2005, Boyce sold 2,000 white clips to Ace International Truck & Engine Co. in Calgary and requested white samples to be shipped to Manufacturer Direct.

    "In May 2005, at Bruce Boyce's request 20 white samples were shipped to Coca Cola Bottling Company in Arizona and 10,000 clips were shipped to Ace."

    In the fall of 2005, the complaint states that Boyce begins getting quotes for manufacturing the product in Canada and that he and Trevor Wardle of Safety Link met with Dynamic Moulded Products.

    "He begins setting the stage for misappropriating the trade secrets, trademark and the impending patent of Safety Link," the complaint alleges.

    "At this point Bruce Boyce moves forward with his plans to implement takeover of the product, its manufacture, the trademark and all the advertising materials that Safety Link has shared with him. He feels confident that because he is in Canada he can 'steal' the invention without incurring any penalty or ramifications."

    The suit says that Boyce hired a man to present the Safety Link wheel nut management system at a fleet managers conference and paid him a commission. The man later denied he had been hired by Boyce or paid a commission.

    After some other disputes, the suit claims Boyce attempted to register Safety Link as a Canadian trademark for his own use. Safety Link objected and Boyce's registration was denied. The plaintiff states that Boyce then filed to register a trademark for "Safe-T-Loc," which was approved by the Canadian Trademark Office.

    In August 2007, Safety Link says Boyce claimed there was no patent protection for the wheel management system and that the broken relationship was the fault of Safety Link and that 25,000 of the clips he sold were defective.

    In July 2008, Manufacturer Direct participated in a trade show in Las Vegas in which it presented the Safe-T-Loc product.

    As a result of the injuries sustained by defendants' actions, Safety Link is seeking actual damages including out of pocket expenses and lost profits, exemplary damages, attorneys' fees, interest and all costs of court.

    John Allen Curtis of Dallas is representing the plaintiff.

    The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Richard Schell and referred to Magistrate Judge Don Bush.

    Case No. 4:08-cv-415-RAS-DDB

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