Australian manufacturer of 4x4 and travel gear MSA 4x4 Accessories has taken legal action in the Federal Court against Clearview Towing Mirrors over alleged patent infringements against its MSA DropSlide.
The DropSlide and Easy Slide are both products made to mount 12-volt fridges in the back of a vehicle and are very popular with four-wheel drivers and travellers. They improve access to the fridge by allowing it to slide out from the vehicle and then lower to a more user-friendly height.
MSA 4x4 alleges that Clearview’s Easy Slide product copies essential features of the DropSlide patented technology. MSA4x4 is seeking an injunction preventing Clearview from manufacturing or selling the Easy Slide, as well as damages to compensate MSA4x4 for such infringement.
“We take infringement of our valuable intellectual property rights very seriously, and we will not hesitate to enforce those rights,” said Shane Miles, director of MSA4x4. “We are always watching the market for copies. It is easier for our competitors to simply copy our successful product than to create something new. We will not stand for this. We stand up for innovators in our industry and we will do everything we can to protect our investment in innovation.”
Clearview has responded stating that it “is very confident that, despite the allegations made by MSA 4x4, sale of the Clearview Easy Slide product does not infringe any valid patent right of MSA 4x4 or Shane Miles; and Clearview will successfully defend the court proceedings brought by MSA 4x4, and that it has the ongoing right to supply the Clearview Easy Slide."
It sounds like this is one for the courts to decide and the only real winner will be the money-sapping lawyers. Stay tuned for fisticuffs!