Foley Client Awarded $1.6 Million Contempt Sanction

19 December 2017 Media Contact: Jill Chanen News
Two Chinese companies have been ordered to pay $1.6 million to a Foley client for violating a final judgment barring them from making and selling tires that are “confusingly similar” in appearance to a tire made by the firm’s client.

Foley’s client, Japan-based Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. and its U.S. affiliate, had sued one of the Chinese companies in 2014, claiming it had infringed on the appearance, or trade dress, of Toyo’s “OPMT” tire by making and selling a tire with a “confusingly similar” look. Later that year, a federal judge in Santa Ana, Calif., enjoined the company from selling tires similar to the Toyo tires.

In February 2015, Toyo filed another lawsuit against the same company , along with a sister company and the companies’ parent, making similar infringement claims about another tire made by the sister company. During discovery, the two sister companies admitted making, selling and exporting that model tire – which had a tread pattern identical to the enjoined tire - between January 2013 and August 2016.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney found that the gross U.S. sales of the infringing tire from the time of his March 2014 final judgment for Toyo to the last offending sale were $1.6 million. He also said Toyo could seek to collect attorneys’ fees and expenses.

On Monday, Toyo asked the judge to approve more than $311,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs associated with its efforts to enforce compliance with the court’s final judgment, according to an article in Law360, “Toyo Seeks $300K in Fees After $1.6M Contempt Sanction.” Representing Toyo are partners William Robinson and Victor de Gyarfas and senior counsel Jean-Paul Ciardullo.