Compiled by SEMA Editors
|Oracle Lighting has announced that it has successfully defended its intellectual property rights regarding its Vector LED Grille System by winning its legal battle against a Chinese-based manufacturer of imitation products.|
Chinese Court Sides with Oracle Lighting in Case Against Counterfeit Producers in China
Oracle Lighting has announced that it has successfully defended its intellectual property rights by recently winning its legal battle against a Chinese-based manufacturer of imitation products.
“Shortly after we unveiled our Vector LED Grille System at a trade show in 2017, Chinese knockoffs began appearing,” explained Justin Hartenstein, director of product development at Oracle Lighting. “After nearly a year of work designing and developing this product, it was honestly heartbreaking to find knockoff products pop up online. I had seen this happen before to other manufacturers in our industry and decided that we were not going to stand for this blatant design theft. We worked with our IP attorney, Jeffrey Banyas of Edwin A. Sisson, Attorney at Law LLC, to develop and execute a strategy to take action against the overseas knockoff producers. I knew it would not be easy but I had no idea where this journey would take us.”
The decision was issued on June 28, 2020, by the Intellectual Property Division of the Suzhou Intermediate People’s Court (Case No.  Suzhou 05 Intellectual Property First Instance No.580). The court found that the defendant’s products fall into the scope of protection of Oracle Lighting’s Chinese Design Patent Registration No. ZL201830136860.7, and thus infringes the patent.
The court’s decision includes an order for the defendant to immediately cease infringing upon Oracle Lighting’s patent. The court also ordered the defendant pay significant monetary damages to Oracle Lighting and ordered that the defendant pay certain court costs associated with the litigation. In doing so, the court also rejected the defendant’s arguments that they had come up with the design for this particular grill prior to Oracle Lighting filing its design patent application.
“In order for us to file litigation against the infringing company, the Chinese court explained that we had to first complete a ‘notarized purchase,’ which basically translates to us having to conduct our own sting operation,” Hartenstein continued. “Our attorney assisted us in hiring private investigators overseas who, after months of investigation, used a cover story to gain access to the factory and, with hidden cameras, obtained evidence of the counterfeit parts. The entire operation had to be covert because these factories producing knockoff goods are often designed to be packed up and moved overnight, making them hard to pin down. Once our legal team in China presented this evidence to the judge, the court issued a demand to the factory to shut down production and the nearly two-year-long litigation process began. This was a massive undertaking for our company but I pursued this in the hope that it provides insight for other small businesses trying to protect their intellectual property rights overseas. It was not easy but these results demonstrate that even overseas counterfeiters can be held accountable. Oracle Lighting takes our intellectual property rights very seriously and we are willing to do whatever it takes to prevent the blatant theft of our patented designs.”
Designed for use on the Jeep Wrangler, Oracle Lighting’s Vector Grill has earned the company awards from SEMA, including a 2018 Global Media Award and a runner-up award for the SEMA Best New Exterior Accessory Product of 2019. The Court’s decision is still subject to an appeal to the Jiangsu Higher Court.
Cooper Tire Names New Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. announced that Paula Whitesell will join the company as senior vice president and chief human resources officer, effective July 27. Whitesell joins Cooper from Peapod Digital Labs in Chicago, where she served as vice president, Human Resources, and was responsible for human resources, communications and customer care. Prior to Peapod, Whitesell had an 18-year career with Whirlpool Corp., where she most recently served as senior director — Global Human Resources, a position she attained after progressing through a number of diverse leadership roles in human resources, and within the business, including finance, customer care and integrated supply chain, leading the trade customer support team.
Tenneco Inc. Appoints COO, CFO
Tenneco Inc. has announced that its board of directors has appointed Kevin Baird as the chief operating officer, effective August 3, 2020. In this role, Baird joins the executive leadership team and will lead and support critical strategic and operations initiatives that deliver margin expansion and cash generation improvements. Baird joins Tenneco from Guardian Industries, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries Inc., where he served since 2014 as president and chief executive officer of its Guardian Glass business. In addition, Tenneco has also announced that its board of directors has appointed Matti Masanovich as the chief financial officer, effective August 10, 2020. He will succeed interim CFO Ken Trammell. Before joining Tenneco, Masanovich was the chief financial officer of Superior Industries International, Inc., a global supplier of light vehicle aluminum wheels for the original equipment and aftermarket.
|Mark Dragotta of Florida was selected as the winner of the custom-built dark-blue ’19 Dodge Challenger 5.7L Hemi V8 in a special drawing and presentation held at PowerNation’s studios in Nashville, Tennessee.|
Permatex PowerNation Sweepstakes Winner Brings Dodge Challenger Story Full Circle
Permatex and PowerNation have announced the winner of their Dodge Challenger Sweepstakes. More than one million sweepstakes entries were received since the program kicked off in August 2019 and when PowerNation began to create the special Dodge Challenger. Mark Dragotta of Florida was selected as the winner of the custom-built dark-blue ’19 Dodge Challenger 5.7L Hemi V8 in a special drawing and presentation held at PowerNation’s studios in Nashville, Tennessee. Dragotta is no stranger to the Dodge Challenger marque. As he explained during a segment of PowerNation’s Engine Power, Dragotta was once owned a dark-blue ’70 Dodge Challenger, which he was forced to sell more than 20 years ago.
ASE Test Centers, Summer Registration Now Open
ASE test centers are open, and registration for the summer testing window is available through September 30. More than 54 ASE certification tests are offered for automotive, collision, medium/heavy duty, school bus, transit bus and truck equipment repair. In compliance with governmental mandates and recommendations from the CDC and WHO, Prometric test centers have enacted safety practices throughout the testing process and are following local government guidelines. It is recommended that automotive professionals coordinate testing with their employers and review the safety measures that Prometric has put in place.
Those who register for an ASE test will have 90 days to schedule an appointment to take their selected ASE tests, whether registering on the first day of the registration window or the last.
For those renewing A1-A9 certification, the ASE renewal app is an easy way to validate their technical knowledge with ASE's Renewal app and maintain their certification status. It is available on a desktop, tablet or mobile device.
Quadratec’s partnership with Tread Lightly! supports on-the-ground stewardship grants, responsible recreation education and trail clean-up projects.
Quadratec Launches Online Fundraising Campaign to Support “Tread Lightly!”
Quadratec Inc. has announced a new online fundraising campaign to support Tread Lightly!, a U.S.-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting responsible outdoor recreation through ethics education and stewardship projects. The company also renewed its official partnership with Tread Lightly!, a relationship spanning nearly three decades. Quadratec’s fundraising program to benefit Tread Lightly! features an optional donation button that customers can access during order checkout, allowing them to add on a donation amount to support the nonprofit and its programs. Since 1992, Quadratec has supported Tread Lightly! as an official partner and through a signature stewardship grant program called ‘Quadratec Cares.’ Under this program, proceeds from Tread Lightly! branded floor liners were placed into a stewardship fund and distributed to Tread Lightly!’s club and individual members to enhance and clean up off-roading trails across the country. The program launched in 2009 and has supported 71 stewardship projects that improved more than 11,000 miles of trails and cleaned up 60 tons of trash.
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