Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Winston sues Redman and Associates for Patent Infringement

On Wednesday, November 21, 2012, Winston Company (plaintiff) registered a complaint against Redman and Associates (R and A) (defendant) for patent infringement in the U.S. District of Oklahoma (case no. 4:12-cv-00646). 

Winston Company is a manufacturer of consumer products. Its products serve a wide variety of markets including, lawn and garden, irrigation, pet, aquarium, industrial, household and toy. Redman and Associates primarily operates in toys and hobby goods and supplies to merchants and wholesalers.

The design patent USD666903 involved in suit is currently assigned[1] to Winston Company (source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database). The patent entitled Display box was issued on September 11, 2012 and expires[2] by June 07, 2025. Apart from this, a pending utility patent with the application number 13/161,288 is also involved in the suit.

According to the complaint, Winston brokered a deal with Wal-Mart to supply toys, particularly 6-volt powered battery-operated ride-on toys known as quads. Winston entered into a Teaming Agreement with R&A to create a venture to provide certain products to Wal-Mart. The Teaming Agreement provided that R and A would manage and maintain the sales and supply chain for the products, which were identified as quads, scooters, and bicycles.

Winston determined that a new type of box that would be beneficial to display its quads the box design became the subject of a design patent ‘903 as shown in Fig.1, as well as the utility patent application ‘288 referenced above.
Fig.1 Display box
In early 2012, R and A without consent or actual notice to Winston began vending the quads to Wal-Mart directly, outside the structure of their Teaming Agreement. Winston therefore alleges willful infringement by R and A of the design patent as well as the pending utility patent and claims punitive damages.
For more details, visit MaxVal-IP and subscribe to our Litigation Alerts.

[1] MaxVal offers Patent Assignment Alert service where subscribers receive email alerts when assignments relating to target applications, patents or entities of interest are recorded.
[2] Expected expiration date.  Patent Term Estimator is a free web-based tool that automatically calculates patent terms and expiration dates for U.S. utility patents.

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