Friday, May 16, 2014

Design Patent Roundup - May 16, 2014

In honor of the NHL playoffs, we bring you this week's new design patent cases, which features a case relating to a design patent for a hockey puck trailer hitch.  The Bruins might take note of this nifty trailer hitch design as they clear out their lockers and haul their gear home for the season.  More cases after the jump!

Duffy v. Knadle, No. 8:14-cv-00147 (D. NE May 14, 2014)

The first case this week comes from the District of Nebraska, which is not necessarily known as a hotbed of design patent litigation.  In this case, Plaintiff Micheal Duffy is asserting U.S. Design Patent No. 688,986, entitled "Puck Hitch Device" against Defendant Gregory Knadle, who allegedly owns and operates  Below is a image of the Boston Bruins version of Knadle's hitch cover alongside a figure from the '986 Patent.  We wish Knadle better luck than the bruins ... Duffy is represented by Martin A. Cannon.  Knadle has not yet entered an appearance. 

Affinity Tool Works, LLC v. SunZi Prods., Inc., No. 2:14-cv-11913 (D. MI May 13, 2014)

The second case this week comes from the District of Michigan which seems to be hearing more and more design patent cases lately.  Unlike other recent design cases coming out of Michigan, this case does not deal with automobile parts, but with carpentry tools.  Affinity is asserting U.S. Design Patent Nos. 549,749 ("Portable Tool Stand"); 552,136 ("Rail For Tool Mounting Brackets and the Like"); and 623,672 ("Mounting Bracket for Rail For Portable Tool Stand").  The crux of the Complaint seems to target SunZi's Performax mitre saw stand, which was not attached to the Complaint or readily available online.  Below is an image of a figure from the '749 Patent.  Affinity is represented by Franklin Smith and John Artz of Dickinson Wright.  SunZi has not yet entered an appearance.  The case has been assigned to Judge Victoria A. Roberts. 

Golight, Inc. v. Pilot Automotive, Inc., No. 1:14-cv-01325 (D. Colo. May 12, 2014)

If you are "searching" for an interesting design patent case, then look no further.  On Tuesday, Golight, Inc. filed suit against Pilot Automotive, Inc. in the District of Colorado asserting infringement of U.S. Design Patent No. 515,228 for a "Searchlight."  In its complaint, Golight does not provide a product name or number for the accused product, but attached the below image of the accused product to its complaint.  Golight is represented by Ian Walsworth of Sheridan Ross and Pilot Automotive has not yet made an appearance.  The case has not yet been assigned to a judge. 

EZ Prods. of South Florida, LLC v. Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., No. 1:14-cv-01398 (N.D. Ga May 8, 2014)

Our last case for the week comes from the district of Georgia and involves a "cleaning cloth," which seems to be a hotbed for design patent litigation.  Here, EZ Products accuses Dollar Tree of infringing U.S. Design Patent No. 674,566 for a "Cleaning Cloth," as depicted below.  EZ accuses Dollar Tree's "Scrub Buddies" cloth, but did not attach an image to its compliant.  Based on Scrub Buddy images shown on Dollar Tree's website, infringement does not appear likely in this case.  EZ Products is represented by Robert Dulaney of Smith Risley Tempel & Santos.  Dollar Tree has not yet entered an appearance.  The case has been assigned to Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr. 

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