Auto Service World
Feature   July 1, 2008   by Auto Service World

Over the Counter July 2008

Dayco Sues Ottawa’s Kingdom Auto Parts for Trademark Infringement

Dayco Products, LLC, a subsidiary of Mark IV Industries, Inc., has filed a lawsuit against Kingdom Auto Parts Ltd. of Ottawa, Ont., alleging trademark infringement relating to the sale of belt tensioners manufactured in China and sold by Kingdom to U. S. customers.

The federal court action, filed in Detroit, Mich., includes claims for trademark infringement, trade dress infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition, and patent infringement under state and U. S. federal law.

The lawsuit alleges that Kingdom has been selling automatic belt tensioners and pulleys for the automotive aftermarket that appear to be Dayco belt tensioners and pulleys but which are, in fact, counterfeit products.

In its allegations, the Dayco suit states, “The packaging for the Kingdom products includes the well-known ‘Dayco’ trademark and the unique five-digit product code associated with Dayco. The Kingdom tensioner products themselves duplicate the distinctive, aesthetic, non-functional trade dress elements of Dayco automatic belt tensioners, including the overall configuration and appearance, the number and shape of ribs, recesses, cutouts, and cavities reflected in the product’s castings, and the inclusion of a flat spring. Certain of the Kingdom tensioners also practice Dayco’s patented technology. Save for one model of automatic belt tensioners, the Kingdom products appear to be slavish copies of the genuine Dayco products offered under the corresponding Dayco product number.”

In response to the allegations, Gary Calagoure, president of Kingdom Auto Parts, says, “Kingdom Auto Parts has not been served with the complaint, and therefore it is premature to comment on the merits of or defenses to the lawsuit.

“However, if the matter involves the same belt tensioners that were the subject of correspondence in late 2007, Kingdom Auto Parts doubts the suit has any merit. Dayco’s claims in late 2007 of ‘trade dress’ rights in intrinsically functional belt tensioners are baseless. Any claim of patent infringement by Dayco failed support in these correspondence exchanges, by Dayco’s inability to demonstrate any basis for an infringement claim,” he says. “It is the policy of Kingdom Auto Parts to vigorously defend its position against tenuous claims asserted by others to thwart honest competition in the automotive parts aftermarket.”

Dayco has requested a jury trial and seeks a variety of remedies from the court, including permanent injunctive relief, seizure and destruction of infringing goods, monetary damages, punitive damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees.

Aftermarket Digs Deep for Muscular Dystrophy Research at Shad’s R&R Event

Satisfied Brakes Wins Frost & Sullivan Award Frost & Sullivan recently awarded Satisfied Brake Products with its Customer Value Enhancement Award in the North American Aftermarket for automotive brake parts. According to Frost & Sullivan, Satisfied has rejected the growing trend to commoditize brake pads. By emphasizing performance, marketing, and technology, Satisfied has improved revenues and profit margins for its distributors, who are carrying its products in an increasingly pricedriven environment, while also winning new customer loyalty. According to Stephen Spivey, research analyst with Frost & Sullivan, “While other manufacturers are commoditizing their products, Satisfied Brakes Products refuses to follow the trend. It works closely with distributors to upsell higher-quality parts to their customers, rather than competing on price alone.”

The event continues to be the largest singleday fundraiser in the Canadian automotive aftermarket. It attracts some 300 aftermarket individuals each June to Kleinburg Golf & Country Club north of Toronto, Ont. All funds raised go to assist in research through the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada.

Canadian Government Announces Apprenticeship Funding

The Honourable Monte Solberg, minister of human resources and social development, has announced $1.37 million in funding to the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum.

Speaking at the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum’s (CAF) 2008 Apprenticeship Conference, Minister Solberg announced a total of $1.37 million in funding to the CAF.

“Apprenticeships are crucial to building a highly skilled and mobile work force,” said Solberg in the announcement. “Apprenticeships lead to the kind of successful and rewarding careers that Canadians deserve and expect in today’s demanding labour market.”

The Government of Canada will provide the CAF with $1,117,367 in funding through its Sector Council Program. The government says this will help increase engagement and awareness of apprenticeship training and programs among employers, as well as provide them with the information and tools they need to attract and retain apprentices.

An additional $262,607 will be provided to the CAF to examine the key barriers to accessing and completing apprenticeship in Canada, and what is being done nationwide to address them.

“Building a business case for apprenticeship training is what the CAF is all about,” says Dan Mott, CAF chair. “Apprenticeship training provides a return on investment, increased productivity in the workplace, lower recruitment costs, and improved retention, and it makes good business sense.”

Strong Start For Automotive Service and Repair Week

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) reports that its newly minted Automotive Service and Repair Week event in Las Vegas is off to a strong start.

Comprising the International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) and the Congress of Automotive Repair & Service (CARS), as well as other events, Automotive Service and Repair Week (ASRW) has sold more than 85% of its projected 160,000 net square feet in exhibit space.

NACE and CARS will be co-located in 2008 and held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 5-8.

“The exhibitor participation during the initial space draw process is very encouraging,” says Ron Pyle, ASA president and chief staff executive. “Such strong results further support the decision to co-locate these longstanding events [NACE and CARS], allowing us to further expand the expos, available education and training, as well as the unparalleled networking opportunities, reaching the collision and mechanical sectors of the entire industry.”

Modern Sales Holds Successful Event

Modern Sales Co-Op buying group held its trade show and convention in Toronto in June, attracting more than 130 exhibitors and more than 100 of its members to the Sheraton Hotel in Downtown Toronto.

Exhibitors and attendees seemed pleased with the level of activity at the booths as well as extracurricular activities, which included the opportunity to take in the stage musical “Dirty Dancing” at the Royal Alexandra Theatre.


Delphi has appointed Malcolm Sissmore as general manager, Canadian aftermarket, and Delphi Product & Service Solutions (DPSS) country director. This appointment is in line with the DPSS global strategy of geographical expansion and customer growth. Taking advantage of significant growth in the Canadian market, Sissmore will be responsible for supporting the DPSS expansion strategy in the country, growing Delphi’s business with Canadian aftermarket customers and coordinating DPSS Canadian activities. Sissmore is a former chairman of the Automotive Industries Association of Canada.

Wakefield Canada Inc. has announced that Natalee Best has been appointed program and promotions manager for Castrol lubricants. Best is now responsible for developing and coordinating business-to-business marketing activities for the Castrol brand and product line for both the consumer (automotive) and heavy duty (commercial) channels and customer base. Her position includes working with Castrol retailers, distributors, and profes
sional installers. Among her responsibilities, Best is responsible for pricing analysis as well as the development of signage and display elements.

Affinia to Close Canadian Facility Affinia Group Inc. has announced plans for closing three manufacturing facilities in the U. S. and Canada. The affected facilities, in Dallas, Tex., Litchfield, Ill., and Milton, Ont., employ approximately 400 people involved in the manufacture of brake components. The Dallas and Milton plants are expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2009.

Association Names Top Divisions The Automotive Industries Association of Canada has announced that its Quebec Division has once again won the Division of the Year Award. This award is presented annually to the division that has been the most successful and active over the past year. Divisions are recognized for holding educational and social events, division executive meetings, scholarship contributions, Opportunities Unlimited presentations and membership growth. AIA also announced that the Manitoba Division was named the Most Improved Division Award. Volunteers in Manitoba were busy last year, coordinating member networking and educational events, as well as Opportunities Unlimited presentations. Also, their participation in Be Car Care Aware events increased significantly.

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