CYPRESS, CA – April 16, 2018 – Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. and Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. (“Toyo Tires”) today announced that the company has prevailed on the liability phase of its trade dress infringement and breach of contract suit in Los Angeles Federal Court against Doublestar Dong Feng Tyre Co., Ltd. and Qingdao Doublestar Tire Industrial Co. (collectively “Doublestar”).
Iori Suzuki, President and CEO of Toyo Tires Holdings of Americas Inc., stated that “We are pleased that once again, the federal courts have recognized Toyo’s intellectual property rights, which protect Toyo's R&D efforts in providing the highest quality tires. These decisions are a rebuke for the Doublestar companies’ callous disregard towards others’ intellectual property rights, as well as for the orders of the courts. Toyo will continue to relentlessly and unwaveringly pursue those who violate our rights.”
The suit was triggered by Doublestar's sale of the AMP M/T tire, a copy of Toyo Tires’ best-selling Open Country M/T tire. Doublestar had previously agreed that another of its tires infringed Toyo Tires’ OPMT trade dress and that its trade dress was valid. In 2014, Doublestar entered into a Final Judgment, agreeing to cease the manufacture and sale of the infringing product. When Toyo Tires learned of Doublestar’s sales of the AMP M/T, Toyo Tires brought the current action to seek damages for trade dress infringement, breach of contract and fraud.
On April 14, 2018, Judge Cormac Carney granted Toyo Tires’ motion for summary judgment, finding no liability issues for a jury to decide on the infringement and breach claims. All that remains is for a jury to decide the amount of damages that Doublestar must pay Toyo Tires, and to decide Toyo Tire’s claim for fraud against Doublestar.
Earlier, in November 2017, Judge Carney held Doublestar in contempt for violating the 2014 Final Judgment, and ordered Doublestar to pay Toyo Tires $1.6 million in sanctions. While Doublestar waived its right to appeal this ruling, they have yet to compensate Toyo Tires as ordered by the Federal Court.
About Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc.
Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc. (“TTHA”) is the wholly-owned North American subsidiary of Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. of Hyogo, Japan. Headquartered in Cypress, California, TTHA and its group companies manufacture, import, sell and distribute Toyo and Nitto brand tires in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Toyo Tires maintains its commitment to innovation, quality, performance, and excellent customer service. Significant and continuous investments are made in its U.S.-based manufacturing facility and support operations in order to produce high-quality tires. The company’s tire portfolio covers a broad range of applications, including high-performance racing-inspired tires, rugged off-road tires for light trucks and SUVs, luxury-touring tires, and commercial truck tires.
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