Automotive Component Trade Show Seizures

Many commentators have noted the declining stature of intellectual property of late. With large software corporations driving the narrative of patent trolls and bad software patents, many industries now question whether there is any benefit to patents. Patents can be expensive and difficult to obtain. Every break usually goes against the patentee. Litigation is slow and very expensive. The Supreme Court seems to restrict patents every chance they get.

Consider another narrative - a patentee is able to have Federal Marshals seize a competitor' display items at a trade-show within the span of a few days. That is apparantly what just happened in Las Vegas at the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) convention the nearby AAPE (Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo). Patents, both design and utility, played a key role.

OMIX-ADA, INC., of Georgia, went to Federal Court in Nevada with a complaint dated Oct. 31, 2016.  Their complaint was against numerous foreign entities exhibiting at the trade shows. Below is the patentee's summary:

The complaint included a detailed comparison showing the allegedly infringing products and used pictures of the booth, as well as catalogs and other documents. Below is one example:

The Judge issued a seizure order the following day, Nov. 1, 2016.