Toyo Gains Win in Design Copycatting Complaints

Toyo Gains Win in Design Copycatting Complaints

ToyoTiresWithDTP_colorThe U.S. International Trade Commission found in favor of Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. and Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc. in their complaints of tread design copycatting against a group of Chinese tiremakers and importers.

The ITC’s final determination, announced late yesterday, came against eight remaining respondents in Toyo’s tire design patent infringement complaint, which was filed with the ITC last September. In its decision, the ITC issued limited exclusion orders and cease-and-desist orders to prohibit the importation and sale of any infringing tires by these eight respondents. Each was previously found to be in default and in violation of the law.

In its original complaint, Toyo said the violated design patents included its Nitto Trail Grappler M/T, Proxes 4 and Open Country A/T lines, naming 23 tiremakers, exporters, importers, distributors and dealers based in China, Thailand and the U.S. Fifteen companies of that group agreed to settle with Toyo, the remaining eight were subject to the ITC investigation and decision. Toyo did not specify which parties settled prior to the ITC decision and which were subject to the ITC’s findings.

In addition to its ITC complaint, Toyo also filed several companion suits in Federal district court, most of which have been resolved.

Click here to read about Toyo’s original complaint.

As part of the settlements, the 15 respondents agreed to cease-and-desist from importing and selling the infringing products, and to promptly dispose of any remaining inventory, according to Toyo. Several of the manufacturers agreed to destroy molds used to produce the named Toyo- and Nitto-brand products, and some paid an undisclosed cash sum to Toyo.

All of the settling respondents also agreed to not manufacture, market or distribute other tires which Toyo believes infringes on its intellectual property rights, but which were not a part of the ITC action.

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