MVS Conquers Tire Battle

A two year case reached several verdicts between OTR Wheel Engineering Inc. and West Worldwide Services Inc.OTR accused West of trade secret misappropriation, trade dress infringement, trademark infringement and unfair competition. OTR was asserting intellectual property rights in federal trade dress registrations for gray tires, in a tire tread, and in the trademark for the name “Outrigger.”OTR was unsuccessful on all of its intellectual property claims.

Prior to trial, West obtained summary judgment that OTR’s gray tire registration was invalid as functional and lacking secondary meaning and that West did not infringe the Outrigger trademark.After a two week jury trial, the jury quickly determined that OTR’s tire tread trade dress was also invalid as functional or lacking secondary meaning and went further to find that OTR had fraudulently obtained the registration from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.The jury also found West had not misappropriated any of OTR’s trade secrets as OTR’s own expert admitted nearly every internal component of the tires was different.

Judge Suko has ordered the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel OTR’s gray registration and its tire tread registration.West has asked that the preliminary injunction based on the registrations and trade secrets also be lifted and that the nearly 2 million dollar bond be paid to West for the damages OTR’s lawsuit has caused.

A hearing on these and other issues is set for September 19th.

West Worldwide Services Inc. is represented by R. Scott Johnson, Christine Lebrón-Dykeman and Jonathan Kennedy from McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC, in Des Moines, IA, and Kevin Hansen from Livengood Alskog, PLLC in Kirkland, WA.

The Supreme Court of Iowa does not certify lawyers as specialists in the practice of law and certification is not a requirement to practice law in the State of Iowa.


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