Auto Service World
News   October 6, 2006   by Auto Service World

Court Rules on Gamber-Johnson / NPI Case

A federal court earlier this week approved a Consent Judgment, concluding a patent infringement lawsuit brought against Gamber-Johnson by National Products, Inc. (NPI).
Gamber- Johnson and NPI jointly submitted the Consent Judgment to the court as part of a settlement agreement.
Gamber-Johnson and NPI sought to terminate the litigation and neither company can appeal the Consent Judgment.
NPI filed the lawsuit in December 2004, alleging that Gamber-Johnson’s VersaTrue(R) ball-and-socket mounts infringed on select products from NPI’s RAM Mount product line.
NPI subsequently asserted an additional claim for trade dress infringement.
With the settlement, both companies resolved all the issues of patent and trade dress validity, enforceability and infringement.
“The continued cost of defending ourselves against NPI’s lawsuit simply did not make any further economic sense.
We, and our attorneys, strongly believe that our VersaTrue ball-and-socket mounts did not infringe on any of NPI’s intellectual property,” said Jeff Greene, president of Gamber-Johnson.
Notably, Gamber-Johnson applied for and received their patent for the VersaTrue ball-and-socket mount, U.S. Patent No. 7,090,181. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recognized that the VersaTrue mounting system was patentable over the patent in NPI’s lawsuit, as well as two other NPI patents.
As for trade dress, “no consumer seeing these two products could possibly believe they were copies,” said Greene. “No customer has ever told us that they confused the two.”
As part of the settlement, Gamber-Johnson will discontinue the VersaTrue ball-and-socket mounts and will cease selling the products by the end of 2006.
Gamber-Johnson supplies docking stations and vehicle mounts to companies in public safety, field service, utilities and the military.

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