CHICAGO (July 21, 11:20 a.m. EDT) — Gain Technologies Inc. is suing again — this time accusing Quality Models Ltd. in Windsor, Canada, of patent infringement for using Gain's gas-assisted molding technology to make automotive and snowmobile parts.
Gain, based in Sterling Heights, Mich., issued a news release announcing the lawsuit in mid-June — the week before NPE 2003. The lawsuit actually was filed April 4 in U.S. District Court in Detroit, by Gain affiliates Melea Ltd. and Plastic Molded Technologies Inc.
Bill Szekesy, president of Quality Models, issued a statement saying: “We are adamantly defending this lawsuit. It is in the hands of our corporate attorney.”
Melea is a Gibraltar firm that owns about 40 patents covering gas-assisted injection molding. Gain markets the Melea patents.
The complaint said that Quality Models purchased a gas control unit and a nitrogen unit from another Windsor company, Vandermuren Engineering, “with knowledge that Gain Technologies was true owner of this equipment.” Also, the suit accused Quality Models of violating Melea's patent for overflow wells, and patents held by Ferromatik Milacron Maschinenbau GmbH when it molds parts for DaimlerChrysler Corp. in Auburn Hills, Mich., and Bombardier Inc. of Quebec.
Gain licensed five Ferromatik patents earlier this year, and Gain now has the right to enforce gas-assisted patents for that German unit of Milacron Inc.
Asked to spell out which specific parts are involved, Gain owner and President Michael Ladney cited a front grille for the Jeep Cherokee and a belly pan for a Bombardier snowmobile.
Vandermuren Engineering, which no longer is in business, was not named as a defendant. Richard Vandermuren, who owned the company, said the five-person operation built equipment for Gain for several years.
Vandermuren disputed Ladney's account of the gas equipment involved. He said his company sold Quality Models a “bunch of parts,” hardly the “gas unit” alleged by the lawsuit. The nitrogen generator was an early prototype used to refill nitrogen bottles and does not infringe on any patents.
He termed the business with Quality Models “a going-out-of-business sale, more or less.”
“We went out of business right after doing business with Gain,” Vandermuren said.