Michelin suing Dynamic Tire for design infringement

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Michelin North America has filed suit against Dynamic Tire Corp. and its president, Robert Sherkin, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York. Michelin alleges copyright infringement, violations of the Lanham Act for selling under false pretenses, violations of New York law and unjust enrichment based on Dynamic’s website illustration of the Triangle TR689 tire.

Michelin alleges that Dynamic’s website illustration of the Triangle TR689 tire was copied from a drawing of Michelin’s XDE M/S tire. In the illustration appearing on Dynamic’s website, Michelin claims that the words “Triangle” and “TR689” have replaced the words “Michelin” and “XDE M/S” that appear in Michelin’s original illustration. Michelin seeks an injunction along with an award of attorneys’ fees and costs.

In a related action, Michelin North America (Canada) has filed suit against Dynamic Tire and Sherkin in the Federal Court of Canada, alleging infringement of two Canadian Industrial Designs by Dynamic’s distribution of Triangle TR696 tires and Triangle TR689 tires. Michelin also seeks an injunction to halt distribution of these tires along with an award of damages and costs.

These recent actions in New York and Canada come in addition to the suit filed in the Federal Court of the Northern District of Alabama (Birmingham) in June 2005. The first action, filed against Aeolus Tire and Dynamic Tire as well as Sherkin, president of both companies, charged patent infringement for the unauthorized use of Michelin’s proprietary tread design for its XDA-HT truck tire. The tires in question, sold under both the Aeolus and Windpower labels, are distributed in North America by Dynamic Tire, with offices in Canada and the United States. The tires are produced by Aeolus Tire in China.