Oakley sues companies for allegedly infringing sunglasses patents

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Dec 4, 2014

LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) - Eyewear manufacturer Oakley Inc. this week filed lawsuits against two separate companies, alleging both are infringing their patents for sunglasses.


Oakley filed its first complaint against Top Fashion Optical & Sunglasses Co. Ltd. and Ward Chen, the company’s “top agent,” in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Monday.


The eyewear company, which is based in Foothill Ranch, Calif., claims in its eight-page complaint that Top Fashion, headquartered in China, has infringed U.S. Patent Nos. D415,188 and D425,103. The D188 patent was issued to Oakley by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 1999. The D103 patent was issued to it in 2000.


According to the complaint, the accused products include Siskiyou Gifts sunglass models MLB/NFL team sunglasses, MLB/NFL kid’s sunglasses and wrap sunglasses.


Oakley contends Chen, in particular, was made aware of its patents in 2007, at least.


The company said it is evidenced in his citation of both the D188 patent and D103 patent as related prior art in U.S. Patent Application No. 29/248,353, which issued as U.S. Patent No. D544,021, listing Chen as the sole inventor.


Prior art is information made available to the public in any form before a given date that might be relevant to a patent’s claims of originality.


“Oakley is informed and believes, and thereon alleges, that Top Fashion had knowledge of the D188 Patent and the D103 Patent, at least by virtue of the knowledge of the D188 Patent and the D103 Patent possessed by Chen, Top Fashion’s official agent in the United States,” lawyers for Oakley wrote.


Oakley wants an accounting of all “gains, profits and advantages derived by defendants’ infringement” of the patents and Top Fashion and Chen to pay Oakley “all damage suffered” and/or their total profits from the infringement.


The eyewear manufacturer also asked the court for a trebling of damages and/or exemplary damages because of the defendants’ “willful conduct.”


It also requested attorneys’ fees, expenses, costs, and an award of pre-judgment and post-judgment interest.


Also Monday, Oakley filed a lawsuit against Michael Theodorakis, doing business as Sunset Sunglasses.


In its 100-plus-page complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Oakley accuses the Florida company of infringing more than a dozen of its patents for sunglasses.


Irvine, Calif., law firm Knobby Martens Olson & Bear LLP is representing Oakley in both lawsuits.


From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at patents@legalnewsline.com.

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