Gas-assisted molding supplier Gain Technologies Inc. filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against automaker BMW of North America LLC on Feb. 10 four months after Gain sued the carmaker's German parent, BMW AG, for breach of contract.
Gain also has filed a separate patent-infringement case against auto molder ADAC Plastics Inc.
All three lawsuits were filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit. None of the suits lists the specific auto parts involved.
ADAC and BMW officials were not available for comment.
In the earlier lawsuit, filed Oct. 7, Gain charges that Munich-based BMW violated a 2003 licensing agreement requiring it to supply Gain affiliate Plastic Molded Technologies Inc. with a list of parts made by gas-assisted injection molding, plus any brands of gas control units used by BMW or its affiliates. PMT can request that list at least once a year.
Other terms of the agreement are that BMW must, upon request, give Gain six full shot samples so it can determine any patent infringement.
The suit filed Feb. 10 charges patent infringement against BMW of North America. The plaintiffs are Gibraltar-based Melea Ltd., which holds the patents marketed by Gain; PMT; and German injection press maker Ferromatik Milacron Maschinenbau GmbH.
Ferromatik Milacron is involved because Gain licensed a Ferromatik gas-assisted patent and has the right to enforce it.
The suit alleges infringement of five gas-assisted patents by BMW. Gain is asking for damages and an injunction barring BMW from further infringement.
The lawsuit against ADAC of Grand Rapids, Mich., brought by Melea and PMT, charges that ADAC infringes Gain patents by using gas-assist controllers from Alliance Gas Systems Inc., no longer in business.
The suit states that in 2007 Melea and PMT sent ADAC a letter about the alleged infringement, offering a limited-time license for users of the Alliance equipment. ADAC did not respond to the allegations, the suit said. It also said ADAC uses the Alliance equipment to mold gas-assisted parts at its Muskegon, Mich., plant.
Gain wants damages and an injunction against ADAC.
Gain is based in Shelby Township, Mich., near Macomb.