Michelin and Kirkby Settle Copyright Dispute
Kirkby Tyres & Wheels has agreed to end the distribution of a number of Double Coin brand tyres that Michelin claimed infringed the French manufacturer’s intellectual property rights. According to the agreement, Kirkby will cease distribution of the tyres and also remove all versions of “Michelin-copyrighted content” from its websites within an agreed period of time. In return Michelin is dropping its legal action for “infringement and other issues.”
In May Michelin informed the media that it was filing suits against tyre dealers selling the Double Coin brand because of tread patterns similar to those on Michelin truck tyres. The French tyremaker had previously (in December 2005) alerted more than 5,000 tyre dealers that while the treads may look the same on both tyres, the look-alikes may not deliver the same grip or longevity as an authentic Michelin tyre.
In the UK this meant proceedings were initiated against Kirkby Tyres Ltd for patent infringement of the Michelin XDY tread design. At the same time Michelin suggested California-based China Manufacturers Alliance infringed their patents by distributing the Dyna-Trac RS-330 and the Double Coin RT606. In this case Michelin is seeking attorney’s fees, any profits gained through the sale of the patent infringing tyres and an award three times the amount of the damages.