Michelin Files Lawsuit against Tri-Ace For Patent Violation
Published On 27-Dec-2019
The leading tyre marker claimed that Black Bear All-Terrain II tyre is exactly the same pattern of that of its Michelin BFGoodrich All-Terrain A/T KO2 tyre
Accusing Houston-based Tri-Ace Wheel & Tire Corp. and its Black Bear U.S.A. affiliate of copying the tread pattern of its BFGoodrich All-Terrain A/T KO2 tyre, the Michelin North America Inc. has filed a patent infringement case in the US court.
The leading tyre marker claimed that Black Bear All-Terrain II tyre is exactly the same pattern of that of its Michelin BFGoodrich All-Terrain A/T KO2 tyre. After filing the lawsuit at U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, its press release stated the Black tyre “includes a virtually identical tread design with substantially the same features as those protected by patents for the All-Terrain T/A KO2."
Michelin further says that the immediate predecessor of KO2, the All-Terrain T/A KO tyre created a benchmark in its all-terrain category when it was introduced by BFGoodrich in 1976. The renowned tyre maker said KO2 is consistently ranked at the top of the table and has been loved by its users with some reporting it to have crossed 12 million miles! The officials at Tri-Ace could not be contacted.
Tyre trademark and infringement is not new to the tyre industry. In fact, in India too, Tolins Tyres were caught infringing Bridgestone tyres and selling it under its brand name. Earlier the officials denied but later they accepted that they had copied the Japanese company’s trademark tyres and paid the penalty. This was in 2017.
In another case, MRF filed a lawsuit against Metro tyres for copying the concept of its advertisement for MRF NV, REVZ range of tyres. The MRF tyres’ advertisement was first aired on TV in June 2015. It accused Metro tyres of copyright infringement when Metro aired its ‘Bazooka Radial Tyres’ ad in September 2016. After hearing both the sides, the court found that MRF’s proofs weren’t enough to prove that Metro breached the Copyright Act, 1957.