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Pure Fishing Sues Shimano over Patent Infringement

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We don’t like the dirty side of fishing. The corporate side that takes the joy of fishing away from the water and into courtrooms. But this story and subsequent outcome could have a ripple effect beyond the fishing line segment of the tackle manufacturing industry, so it bears mentioning.

It will be interesting to see what happens as a result of this decision. There is no secret that tackle manufacturing has entirely too much “knocking off” of ideas, but our hope is that truly original ideas can be protected, and good affordable products are always available to anglers. Obviously not all ideas can be protected and I think most manufacturers seek to make affordable alternatives to anglers

Truth be told, suits like this go on all the time behind the scenes, but this one piqued our interest because the patent seems to have wide sweeping coverage that could impact many manufacturers.

Here is the official release about the suit:

Shimano, Inc. has been sued for patent infringement by Jarden Corporation’s Pure Fishing division.

According to the complaint filed Aug. 16 in federal court in Columbia, S.C., Shimano’s Shimano American unit is accused of importing and selling fishing lines that infringe patent 5,749,214.

The patent, issued in May 1998, is held by Jarden Corp.’s Pure Fishing unit. Pure Fishing, now based in Columbia, produces fishing gear under brands including Shakespeare, Mitchell, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Penn, Fenwick and Pflueger. The patent covers braided or twisted gel spun polyolefin yarns of a high strength.

Pure Fishing claims the Power Pro fishing line produced by Shimano’s Innovative Textiles unit infringes the patent and competes unfairly with its own products.

It asked the court to order Shimano to halt the alleged infringement and for awards of money damages, attorney fees and ligation costs. The company also asked for extra damages to punish Shimano and Innovative textiles for their actions.

Pure Fishing is represented by Thomas G. Pasternak of Washington’s Steptoe & Johnson LLP, and James H. Fowles III, Douglas J. Rosinski, and Christopher J. Near of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart PC of Greenville, South Carolina.

The case is Pure Fishing Inc. v. Shimano American Corp., 3:10-cv-02139-CMC, U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina (Columbia).